• United States



by Rebecca Wanjiku

ITU to Support Kenya Cybersecurity Efforts

Feb 23, 20122 mins
Application SecurityFraudIdentity Management Solutions

UN agency to underwrite part of costs of KE-CIRT team

The International Telecommunication Union has announced that it will support Kenya’s cybersecurity efforts through budgetary support and personnel.

In a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Geneva by the ITU and the Communications Commission of Kenya, the U.N. specialized agency will bear 30 percent of the cost of running the Kenya National Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre. The actual budget figures were not available from the CCK.

“The ITU will provide staff resources for the coordination and management of the project and will be responsible for the overall management of the project implementation, supervision, monitoring, coordination, evaluation and hand-over to the Commission after six months,” said Francis Wangusi, acting CCK director general in a press release issued after the ceremony in Geneva.

The KE-CIRT team is expected to be the national trusted focal point for advising and coordinating responses to cybersecurity incidents in Kenya, but recent hacks of government websites and three banks, coupled with a lack of comment from KE-CIRT, has made information security experts in the country to question the effectiveness of the team.

“As a representative of the security community in Kenya, I would love to see the KE-CIRT well-equipped with the right personnel and also have a positive outlook when dealing with cybersecurity issues; my fear is that this might be among the many initiatives which the government might try to implement without private sector involvement,” said Tyrus Kamau head of security and risk at Cellulant, a mobile banking applications provider.

The ITU is supporting Kenya under its global cybersecurity agenda framework, which seeks to enhance confidence in online security.