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Curbing your Cybersecurity threats

At the height of the pandemic, a team @iLabAfrica, one in BCK Kenya Limited and another in Hungary through ACPM, were putting the final touches towards taming cyber-attacks in the country.

Countrywide, individuals, SMEs and corporates felt the impact of 35.2 million cyber threat events that were detected between July and September 2020. According to the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team – Coordination Centre (National KE-CIRT/CC) quarterly sector statistics report, this was a 152.9 percent increase from the 13.9 million threat events detected in the previous quarter.

This increase in cyber threat attacks detected was attributed to the move to working remotely and increased uptake of e-commerce in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This increased vulnerability of organizations and businesses to cyber criminals who targeted remote working systems and tools, and e-commerce sites for fraudulent gains. Worldwide, terrifying statistics predict that cyber-crimes will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.

The trio scouted the country in search of what SMEs and corporates have a headache over. What they saw was SMEs and corporates in dire need of robust cybersecurity solutions. However, setting up in house cybersecurity expertise is an expensive affair as it calls for the best talent in the country, processes to work, and the latest technology. In November 2021, this successful international collaboration led to the launch of a SOC that bundles up these three and offers tailor made solutions to businesses on a need to need basis.

“The Hungarian team, unfortunately, attended the much anticipated launch virtually. “To miss the launch due to the pandemic wasn’t in our plans. But what came out of it was a state-of-the-art collaboration; we’ve set a good example on how to collaborate effectively while being 10,000 km away from each other,” Gabi-regional technical development director, ACPM.

TAI SOC is a Security Operations Centre as a Service (SOCaaS) provider that aims to address cybersecurity issues facing businesses in Fintech, Insurance, Government, Medical and other institutions that rely on Information Technology to power their operations. TAI — a Swahili word for Eagle – symbolises the team in the Security Operations Centre which is fearless in the face of adversity, conquerors with a powerful ability to monitor, detect and respond to cyber threats against its clients in real-time.

The SOC’s ultimate goal is to establish a more proactive attitude towards security issues, while locating and responding to cyber threats to an organisation. John Ombagi, a cybersecurity specialist @iLabAfrica and part of the @iLabAfrica team, speaking on the need to found TAISOC, emphasises that too many times organisations focus on the technology leaving out the people and the processes involved.

“Despite paying millions towards cybersecurity, organisations still suffer these attacks. Just yesterday we had an organization reaching out to us after an attack. Initially they felt the security appliances they had would provide sufficient protection. Now they feel insecure which goes to show that firewalls and antiviruses are not enough. You need people to feed into the process as machines too can make mistakes based on how they are programmed.”

In 2020, John earned the cherished yet notoriously difficult to earn offensive security certified expert certificate that allowed him to become a senior-level penetration tester.

In June this year, the Hungarian team, finally able to make the trip, was on site to charter the way forward for TAISOC. “We have learnt a lot from the few months we’ve been in operation. We are now in the process of fine tuning our offerings to the local market.”

The team was faced with the lack of understanding as to why this service is necessary. “To cut on costs, organisations will settle on Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) services instead of our SOC services which our deemed costlier. Our work is to make our offerings better known and target to have more SME’s without large cybersecurity budgets on board,” John says.

To learn more about their services, click here.


This article was written by Wambui Gachari. 


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