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Economic Commission Africa (ECA) cyber security week launched

ADDIS ABABA (The Southern African Times) – The Economic Commission (ECA)’s Cybersecurity Week 2021 kicked off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and will run for three days from September 7 – 9. 

This is an effort by the Information and Communications Technology Services Section (ICTSS) to promote the culture of information security at the ECA, and its compliance with UN-wide cyber security policies.  

The agenda for the cyber security week is to increase ECA staff security awareness, demonstrate ECA compliance requirements, and demonstrate ICTSS’ work in protecting ECA and its staff.

Almoustapha Cisse, Chief of ICTSS, said different training sessions and activities have been organized and planned for ECA staff throughout the week and that staff are urged to either visit the Physical Booth at ECA or take the Virtual Booths option. There will be general cybersecurity training awareness to the staff and presentations from the ICTSS team on cyber security at workplace.

Mr Cisse said the cyber security week will help you understand the risk of malware which include viruses, spyware and that every staff member within ECA is accountable for cybersecurity.

It is estimated that about 80% of personal computers (PCs) in Africa are affected by viruses and malware.

“Covid 19 has led to more cyber security risks as many individuals work at home sometimes on their computers and using their own routers, virus protection,” said Mr Cisse adding that the evolution of new technologies and rapid changes in workforce practices has resulted in one pf the greatest challenges for governments and organizations around the world.

“Flurry of devices are moving rapidly from analog to digital, the phenomenon is a broad and complex terrain – the internet of things. Everyone needs to be aware of the risks of cybersecurity especially on data protection.”

Citing one example where dozens of UN servers have been attacked, Mr Cisse said in July 2019, hackers broke into dozens of UN servers and stole staff records, health insurance, and commercial contract data were compromised.

Nita Deerpalsing, Director of Publications, Conference & Knowledge Management Division (PCKMD), said at the opening that cyber security is everyone’s responsibility. It is important for everyone to learn protect our critical data that is core part of our work. Each one of us has a role of ensuring safe and secure use of the internet.

She said UN core applications like Inspira, Umoja are available for access on internet and should be used responsibly.

Collins Oduor of ICTSS, said hackers steal information and with remote working because of Covid 19, there has been an increased attempts in malware attacks, fishing attempts and the disclosure of critical information by staff members unknowingly which is cyber security risk.

Training on cyber security awareness is updated all the time and so it is important to undergo the training regularly

Everyone must take responsibility for your personal information and online privacy and take steps to help keep your devices and personal information safe. Also have tech safeguards in place when you go online.

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