More than $ 175 million was lost by Kenyans to cybercrime related cases in 2016 alone, a magnitude that revealed how exposed and vulnerable business are online.
Cyber security still isn’t given enough priority by business leaders in most organisations, largely due to what experts’ term as an isolated IT problem and is not viewed a business issue.
For this reason, most enterprises have been overlooking this aspect prey to the world of cyber criminality that continues to evolve.
Businesses started adopting connectivity more than two decades ago and have taken an upward trajectory due to availability of affordable smartphones and in extension, pocket-friendly internet plans from mobile network service providers and Internet Service Providers.
But with increased cyberattacks on businesses over the internet, it is now a necessity for any enterprise that wants to grow and stay competitive to get a secured presence for effective market positioning in delivery of services and products to their clients.
Safaricom #ticker:SCOM , through its Enterprise Business Unit has developed a wide range of security solutions geared at protecting enterprise customers’ information technology systems.
From the beginning of the year, the mobile network operator has been offering managed security solutions, security assurance and advisory services as well as Managed Security Operations Centre solutions.
Under this package, it is now easy for users to secure email conversations, websites with enterprises and individuals being able to manage impending vulnerabilities, test and audit IT systems as they access real time monitoring services to track performance.
Malicious emails have been described as the weapon of choice for a wide range of cyber-attacks by Software company Symantec in its 2017 Internet Security Report.
The report found that emails are used by everyone from state- sponsored cyber espionage groups to mass-mailing ransomware gangs, with one in 131 emails sent considered as malicious, the highest rate in five years.
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd in their 2018 cybersecurity report also strongly affirms the fifth generation of the cyber landscape gives criminals a wider attack surface making more enterprises vulnerable to attacks.
The Checkpoint report further highlights of new vulnerabilities through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, the most commonly used tools in small and bigger organisations as key touchpoints that online criminals are taking advantage of to bring down businesses.
Researchers at Checkpoint call on both organisations and consumers to be aware of the risks mobile devices pose.
While the attacks are significant, it is presumed that the solutions offered would match the same effort to make it very expensive to secure businesses.
However, Safaricom has realised that customers have unique needs and different budget levels and has thus designed its IT cybersecurity solutions to cater for each customer’s needs.
The key goal for the telco is to ensure customers get the best value and strategically select their solutions.
Already, the solution is gathering interest with some of the company’s customers in the financial services and transport industries already signing up for the service.
Businesses adopting these tailored enterprise solutions stand to benefit in overall business outcomes in secure environment, according to reports.
A new global cyber security report from Vodafone shows that the more cyber-ready a business becomes, the better its overall business outcomes.
Another report by Cyber Ready Barometer revealed that 48 percent of cyber-ready businesses are reporting more than five percent increases in annual revenue as well as high stakeholder trust levels.
Despite this, the research also shows that only 24 percent of businesses globally could reasonably call themselves cyber-ready.
It is important for businesses to continue reviews on their IT security measures to enable them get the right solution to fix dynamic challenges.
Similarly, experts advise leaders in enterprises to constantly monitor trends and review the cyber threat landscape to understand what kinds of threats business might face to enable businesses adjust security measures accordingly.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.