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Cabinet Secretary Hon. Joe Mucheru Launches New Security Operations Centre

The launch of the TAI Security Operations Centre on Friday, November 6, 2020. TAISOC is a collaboration between @iLabAfrica, ACPM Ltd based in Hungary and BCK Kenya Ltd.

@iLabAfrica, Strathmore University, ACPM Ltd based in Hungary and BCK Kenya Ltd, launched the TAI Security Operations Centre on Friday, November 6, 2020 at the Strathmore University Business School Transcentury Auditorium. TAI—a Swahili word for Eagle—is dedicated to offering real time monitoring and advanced contextual analysis to proactively prevent, detect and address security threats for local Kenyan businesses.

The theme of the event “The Kenyan Cybersecurity Landscape- How well prepared are Kenyan Businesses?” was a reflection on the evolution of the cybersecurity industry, how external factors affect the growth of the sector and the impact of cyber- attacks on Kenyan businesses.

Guest speaker

Speaking during the launch Chief Guest speaker CS, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Hon. Joe Mucheru said, “The Communications Authority, an agency within my ministry, attributes the increase in the number of cyber security threats to the global increase in malware that includes ransomware. Other attributes include the high level of unemployment amongst highly skilled tech savvy youth, policy regulatory and enforcement gaps, weak cybersecurity mechanisms and standards within organisations as well as the yawning gap in cybersecurity skills in our region.” He added, “I encourage businesses and corporations alike to develop and instill their own measures in curbing cyber threats. I support the six elements within the cyber resilience strategy that is recommended by @iLabAfrica – which are: Prepare, Protect, Train, Detect, Respond and Recover.”

Increase in cybercrimes

The launch of the TAI Security Operations Centre is a timely response to the massive increase in cybercrimes across the country. The National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team & Coordination Centre detected over 48.5 Million cyber-attacks between January 2020 and June 2020. Some of the most prominent cybercrimes in Kenya are false publications, phishing attacks, malware, money transfer fraud, credit card fraud, and cyber terrorism. From non-governmental organizations, government agencies, e-commerce platforms (e.g Jumia), financial institutions such as banks, SACCOs cyber threats are proving to be a common menace for all.

The unique collaboration is a renewed multilateral partnership between Kenya and Hungary. Mrs Judit Galambos – Chargé d’Affaires of the Hungarian Embassy in Kenya said, “The main strategies from our embassy is to promote the Hungarian small, medium and middle sized enterprises and help them intensify their trade development and collaborations with this part of the world; so far it is working and it is the reason we are standing here today launching the TAI SOC collaboration.”

Cybersecurity resilience

Mr. Marton Miklos, CEO, ACPM IT Consulting Ltd a leading IT Security Service in Hungary mentioned, “According to research, Africa as a region shows massive growth in advance massive cyber-attacks due to increase of internet and mobile devices. Industries such as banking, mining, education and telecommunication companies are all suffering from cyber-attacks in this region. Cyber criminals are also taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic with new types of cyber-attacks affecting organisations in financial, healthcare and government agencies that deal with sensitive data. Information protection is therefore a top priority for corporations and SOC as a service will soon be a good adoption to ensure that data exchange is safe. He further added, “Building cybersecurity resilience for the Kenyan businesses is imperative for business and economic growth.”

TAI SOC aims to implement an organizational (internal) Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) which will assist our clients and co-ordinate with the National KE-CIRT/CC to expose and avert cyberattacks targeting local organizations through actionable advisories and alerts.

“We shouldn’t ask our customers to make a tradeoff between privacy and security. We need to offer them the best of both. Ultimately, protecting someone else’s data protects all of us,” Mr. Pat Muthui Director BCK Kenya Limited. “Today your defenses will work, tomorrow it’s never guaranteed. This is why we need cybersecurity as a service, to solve challenges as they come,” he added.

Reducing immense skills gap

In addressing the immense skills gap in the industry, Dr. Joseph Sevilla Director, @iLabAfrica, commented, “If we want to want to make a difference in the Cybersecurity world, we need to encourage young people to invest in academics as well as the business world.”

The launch panel session discussing the theme of the event was facilitated by Prof. Bitange Ndemo with insights drawn from prominent experts in the field including Dr. Katherine Getao, EBS ,Chief Executive Officer, ICT Authority; Dr. Catherine Adeya, Director of Research, World Wide Web Foundation; Dr. Leonard Mwithiga, Director, ICT National Bank of Kenya; Mr. John Walubengo, Member Kenya Taskforce on Blockchain & AI; Mrs. Jaine Mwai, CIO, Standard Chartered Bank; Mr. Gabor Illess , ACPM IT Consulting Ltd, Hungary, and Mr. John Nyabuti, TAI SOC Operations Manager, Strathmore University.

TAI SOC is a Security Operations Centre as a Service (SOCaaS) provider that aims to address cybersecurity issues facing businesses in Fintech, Insurance, Government, Health and other institutions that rely on Information Technology to power their operations.

The launch of TAI SOC is an opportunity for the Kenyan Cybersecurity landscape to actively focus on the vulnerabilities of systems and strengthen the defense mechanisms. The public sector, healthcare, government, education system, and retail sectors remain the biggest beneficiaries of SOC services.

 CLICK HERE to rewatch the Launch.