Ignorance top risk to cyber security- NITA-U

The lack of user awareness about the potential risks surrounding their using of technology is the number one danger to Uganda’s cyber security space, a senior technology expert has observed.
The chairman of the National Information Technology Authority- Uganda (NITA-) Professor Francis Tusubira said government employees with a right of access to very sensitive systems do not appreciate their positions and responsibilities. You may wish to visit this website in order to read more about the threats, and countermeasures involved in the cyber-security domain.

“From a national perspective, we are as strong as the weakest link, the weakest link is the employees in government, if you got a local government with vulnerabilities interacting with a finance system, that means the whole country is exposed,” noted Tusubira on the second day of the East Africa Security Conference at Hotel Africana.

Tusubira cautioned against failure to take advice and resistance to take action noting that at the centre of the challenges lies communication.

“We need to learn to craft the message differently for different audiences, when it comes to Permanent Secretaries and Ministers, bring examples of risks that can happen and link them up with simple risks like e-mails,” noted Tusubira.

He said despite Uganda’s late entry in trying to address the cyber security concerns, considerable progress has been made especially in the collaboration between the public and private sector.

The meeting is convened by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). ISACA Uganda chapter president, Hussein Isingoma noted that technology remains a double-edged sword because despite technology advancements making it easy for people with legitimate purposes to engage businesses and government.

“It also provides a mechanism for those bent on individual, community and even national interest to compromise IT systems,” noted Isingoma.

Peter Kahiigi, director of information security at NITA-U, said the National Information Security Advisory Group (NISAG), a public-private sector group formed over a year ago is providing a quarterly risk profile of the country.

“There is a lot of user unawareness, in the normal lives they are careful, outside this they are not,” noted Kahiigi.

He said the quarterly profile in which risks are analyzed captures both the national security sector and economic stability including banking, power and telecom among others.

James Saaka, NITA-U chief noted that the biggest hurdle has been mobilizing private and public sector to appreciate information security.

Participants at the two-day conference comprising of bankers, lawyers, IT experts, financial professionals were cautioned to take security as a full-time job and not just wait for audit that is reactionary.

The conference run under the theme: Opportunities and Challenges of New Technology: a new era or a new normal.”