Britain has stressed the need for collective action against cyber technology risks, saying least developed countries such as Malawi are vulnerable due to low capacity and financial muscle to deal with associated crimes.
Speaking during the opening of a Cyber Security Capacity Building Workshop ahead of the launch of Malawi’s National Cyber Risk Assessment Project in Lilongwe on Monday , British High Commissioner Holly Tett said presence of cyber technology continues to drive extraordinary opportunity, innovation and progress but is also unleashing unprecedented complexity, uncertainty, instability and risk.
She said cyber technology, if left in the wrong hands, can be used to disrupt people’s lives instead of improving them.
Said Tett: “The threats are becoming increasingly varied, ranging from high volume, commoditised and opportunistic attacks, to highly sophisticated and persistent threats using bespoke malicious software designed to compromise specific targets.
“Cyber threats are among the greatest security challenges of our time and affect us all.”
Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani, while commending the British Government’s for support on capacity building, said a cyber attack or an outage affecting infrastructures could have disastrous effects on the Malawian population.
He said: “Every day, we continue to witness the deployment and adoption of e-government, e-health, e-commerce services that are making life easier for millions of Malawians.”
The workshop has attracted the British government’s team of cyber and risk assessment specialists who will impart knowledge on the value of undertaking a national cyber risk assessment and its methodology.
Malawi is set to launch a National Cyber Risk Assessment Project which is an outcome of the pan-African conference that members of national cyber risk assessment team attended last November in Botswana.
In April last year, the Commonwealth Cyber Declaration was signed by all 53 member States to collectively deal with cyber security issues.
The declaration is the world’s largest inter-governmental commitment to cyber security cooperation signed by heads of government, which is an expression of a desire to maintain a free, open, inclusive and secure cyber space.