The ongoing Cybersecurity Workshop being hosted by POTRAZ entered day two, yielding very constructive debates as the nation moves towards finalizing a Cybersecurity Bill in its national ICT Policy. This workshop is meant to bring the stakeholders to the table to discuss the route, factors, legalities, guidelines and actions to be taken as the nation desperately wait to gazette a national cybersecurity bill to counter the ever rising cyber-crimes in the country.
By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi
The day started with Mr Lungu an invited expert from the Zambian Information and Communication Technology Authority sharing his experience on how Zambia has been dealing with the cybersecurity issues and the developmental framework they have structured out as an arm of the government to produce a sound Cyber Bill for the people of Zambia.
Mr Lungu highlighted that Zambia like any other developing country, also faced financial constraints in constructing the bill but they made collective use of local resources to achieve some of the critical fundamentals of laying such a bill.
He went on to say that up-to date, Zambia has managed to license authentication services for local and international ICT service providers so as to safeguard the sovereignty of personal, local business and government information.
He however highlighted that despite Zambia making such recognizable strides, they also continue to face challenges of countering cyber-crimes and the appropriate actions to deal with them since cybercrimes crimes have no boundaries.
The Zambian government through ZICTA have begun legislating on the creation of a National Cyber Working Group comprised of different ICT experts to work on the technicalities of countering cyber-crimes and providing appropriate solutions.
It was refreshing to hear that ZICTA alone has been funding this cause whereas in Zimbabwe we are now used to hold a begging bowel to donors whenever we want to construct certain regulatory framework.
His Zambian counterpart Mr Choolwe Nalubamba who is the Manager of the Cybersecurity department at ZICTA presented on the technical aspects of countering cyber-crimes. He laid out the Cybersecurity procedures which Zambia has been taking towards the construction of a viable cyber bill.
Mr Nalubamba said on of the fundamental measures they put into place was to initiate Cyber education and awareness to the public. This is very critical since we all African people by nature do not hold high the essence of reporting cyber crimes. He said despite a very low response from the general public, ZICTA has made tangible efforts in awakening government arms.
He later introduced an in-house discussion on basic security practice which includes personal passwords issues, their strength against cyber attacks, and best administrative practices which can be put in place by organizations when granting access to users in logging into their systems.
It was however shocking from the debates that even our high ranked local CEOs do not know how to construct secure passwords as some even prophesied ignorance via the use of spouse names and children as passwords for organizational accounts.
The later part of the workshop saw the Principal Director of the Ministry of ICT, Honorable C. Chigwamba joining the conversations to shed light on how far his Ministry has gone in constructing Zim’s first national draft on cyber security and the ICT policy as a whole.
Hon. Chigwamba went on to highlight that the first national draft is now available for scrutinization from various stakeholders so that they will have a collective national argument on the document before they present it to the cabinet committee.
He went on to highlight that the major issues outlined in the draft would see Zimbabwe constructing its first national data center by end of year designed to all hosts all sensitive government data. He said that they also initiate a very crucial migration from using international email web hosting such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, RocketMail etc to personalized government emails.
The workshops will conclude tomorrow with a presentation from an invited guest from Sudan who is an expert is Cybersecurity issues at global.
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