The increase in technology-based crimes has prompted cyber security experts to implement nation-wide cyber hygiene campaign.
The Zambia Cybersecurity Awareness Network (ZCAN) has announced the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bongo Hive to facilitate cybersecurity expertise and support to all start-ups and SMEs that will undergo various programmes at the innovation hub.
Speaking shortly after the signing in Lusaka, cyber expert Mr Alinani Sichumba said that cyber attacks had the potential to cripple a business and hence the urgent need to equip more people with fundamental cyber security skills.
He said the cyber crime hygiene initiative by his network aspires to ensure that that Zambia attains the expected digital transformation that is aimed at job creation and providing home-grown solutions.
“The purpose of ZCAN is to offer customised cybersecurity awareness programmes across various sectors of society from the common man in the street, bus driver, students, business professionals, SMEs, CEOs, established organised etc. As ZCAN we believe anyone that has any form of digital presence needs to be aware what risks and threats they are exposed to and basically how to protect themselves,” Mr Simuchimba said.
“ZCAN is achieving its objective through conducting workshops, partnering with Innovation Hubs, security and technology solution providers, learning institutions, carrying out research and holding various cybersecurity awareness campaigns.”
At the signing, Zambia Cybersecurity Awareness Network co-founder Mr Simuchimba and Bongo Hive Executive Director Lukonga Lindunda highlighted the need to address the the risks presented by cyber crimes.
“Our country has embarked on an encouraging path of digital transformation and has seen a rise in the number financial transactions and innovations around this space. At the same time we have seen the enactment of various regulations focussing on how data is protected and how to keep safe online. The network therefore is here to provide solutions and expertise on how these startups & SMEs can secure their business’ data and comply with these regulations as they innovate their solutions,” Mr Lindunda said.
BongoHive is Zambia’s first technology and innovation hub and was stablished in 2011 to assist innovation start-ups.
Zambia has experienced a steady growth in products and services being offered online, with a study by the International Trade Association showing that since the first outbreak of Covid-19 in Zambia, the use of mobile commerce has increased rapidly, especially in domestic payments retail, wholesale, utility, and obligatory payments to the government.
The increase in online activities has necessitated increased understanding of the risks and threats of the cyber space.
The Zambia Cybersecurity Awareness Network is a non-profit organisation that was co-founded by two cybersecurity experts, Alinani Simuchimba and Marvin Ngoma to bring together cybersecurity enthusiasts, professionals and students from the public and private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) and the general public to meet and share ideas, learn from each other and propose initiatives that will help reduce the risk and impact of cybersecurity threats on the day-to-day activities of the Zambian people.
ZCAN is achieving its objective through conducting workshops, partnering with Innovation Hubs, security and technology solution providers, learning institutions, carrying out research and holding various cybersecurity awareness campaigns.