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Call for National Cybersecurity in Uganda

17 July 2017
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                                                                                                                   Written by Alum Patricia

The System Software Center, in the College of Computing and Information Sciences at Makerere University hosted a presentation on 11thJuly 2017 with the theme “Getting to Grips with National Cyber Security”, presented by the celebrated Eng. Dr. FF. Tusubira, CEO of the UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Networking. The aim of the presentation was to create awareness about national cybersecurity, its importance and how best to curb it.  

The presenter focused his presentation on the need for Uganda as a country to concentrate on getting a grip on national cybersecurity by citing instances where networks in different countries were hacked. He cited several instances where IT security was compromised, e.g. August 2016 when a group of hackers known as shadow brokers hacked the National Security Agency [NSA] and released hacking tools that were created by the NSA into the public, a power blackout in the capital city of Ukraine, Kiev in December 2016, and the hacking of Uganda Revenue Authority where the organization lost approximately 2 billion UG shillings to hackers using a computer system.

According to Eng. Tusubira the best way to curb national cybersecurity is by starting on a personal level, creating awareness among children, risk management behavior enterprise, and also understanding where a threat can be induced from e.g. by insiders of an organization, hackers, extremist organizations, investigative journalists, industrial espionage etc. He added that measures can be taken to counter the threat like malicious code protection, effective information security governance, incident management practices, and testing of the system to ensure it is hack proof.  

The presenter concluded by quoting the words of Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist who wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit” meaning that the country as a whole should engage in early cybersecurity measures in order to avoid the effects of national cybersecurity crisis.

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Charles Funa

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