African countries must establish courts to try cyber criminals

February 11, 2013

African countries are facing a rise in number of cybercrime related activities and are grappling with a shortage of skilled manpower to tackle the menace. As a result,I think countries in Africa should form special courts or tribunals to try cyber criminals.A study released last week indicate there is spike in crimes involving mobile phones and social networking sites such as Twitter, Google plus and Facebook. If formed, officials of the courts and tribunals handling such cases should be empowered to conclude trials at a specified period and should conduct their sessions in public gallery so that members of the public can be made aware of the dirty tricks of cyber crooks. That way, the majority of African countries grappling with the problem will be able to quickly and efficiently try cyber crime cases.Cyber criminals have been disturbing social and economic stability in the beautiful continent and they need to be tamed before its too late.

Most African countries security agencies have been receiving growing number of complaints about abuse and harassment using fake Twitter and Facebook Identities, doctoring of photos, filming porno footages and images with mobile phone and posting them on social media websites and there has also been cases of hacked websites almost on a weekly basis. Setting up taskforce to deal with the cyber crimes would also be a major step in any country that is serious about fighting cyber crime. Apart from that, Police mandated to handle online crimes should be empowered constitutionally and legally to arrest and prosecute those who make derogatory comments and post doctored photos and videos of on their Facebook accounts.

A recent study of information security shows that business executives in Africa are not confident of the cyber security levels of their own companies and there is high risk for cyber crime activities to take place in their organizations. This was no surprise to me because most companies have failed to have an effective strategy in place and being proactive in implementing industry leading standards in information security strategy and execution and their presence online poses a major risk in reputation should anything wrong happen. The rise in African security violations, small budgets and degraded security programmes are the key challenges that have left many businesses around the sub Saharan Africa facing security risks that are neither well understood nor consistently addressed.

Many business owners are not confident about the strength of their information security effectiveness and this means their businesses are prone to fraud and this reduces their attractiveness to potential clients as the number of IT security incidents increases. Cyber crooks don’t take holidays in any way and as mobile devices, social media and the cloud become commonplace both inside enterprise and out, there is no doubt in my mind that the adoption of technology is moving faster than security in Africa. Majority of African population use a mobile device for both personal and work purposes and very few have security strategy to address malware protection for mobile devices. I think time has come for African countries to see information security as a valuable investment that protects both the general population and African businesses reputation.

 

 

 

Contador Harrison