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Cyber security blueprint on cards

MINISTER of Transport and Communication Brian Mushimba says Government is this week expected to have a blue print to guide the establishment of a cyber security unit aimed at protecting the country against cyber-attacks.

And Cyber Security for Governments (CyGov), an Israeli leading cyber security advisory, has pledged to share knowledge and skills that can enhance cyber security in Zambia.
Mr Mushimba said Government is in the process of establishing a cyber security institute to prevent cyber attacks, especially as the country is digitalising its economy.
He said this in Lusaka yesterday when CyGov chief strategy officer Eli Ben-Meir called on him at his office.
Brigadier General (Retired) Ben-Meir is leading an Israeli delegation which is in the country to discuss how best Zambia can improve its cyber security.
Mr Mushimba said Government is in the process of establishing a cyber security institute that will help protect the country’s cyber space against attackers.
“This meeting [with CyGov] will help us agree on the next steps to developing the cyber security institute here in Zambia.
“All the key strategic players in this discussion are here with us so that at the end of the week, we are going to have a blue print on the development of this cyber security unit that will hopefully make Zambia the best in terms of cyber security,” Mr Mushimba said.
He said Government wants to develop firewalls in the cyber space to prevent digital information from landing in wrong hands.
Mr Mushimba said Government wants to have a helicopter view of its cyber space to detect possible cyber crimes.
“We have done some ground work in terms of cyber security, we have institutions and standard procedures that govern this space so far,” he said.
And Gen Ben-Meir said his country is ready to share knowledge and experiences to help beef up Zambia’s cyber security.
He said cyber attacks are a threat to the smooth operation of e-government.
“Over 100 countries in the world are disusing cyber security following a recent attack,” Gen. Ben-Meir said.
Gen Ben-Meir said his country shares President Lungu’s vision of digitalising the economy and protecting it against cyber attacks.
And Government has urged Zambians to strictly adhere to safe cyber practices in the wake of rampaging computer malicious software called “Ransomware”.
Since Friday, the computer virus “Ransomware” has attacked 150 countries, blocking access to vital data of some 250,000 individuals.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications Misheck Lungu said in an interview yesterday that Zambians ought not worry, but must tread cautiously in the cyber space.
“As a country we are as vulnerable as other countries but we are not sitting idle. We are putting in place a cyber security strategy because we are ear-marked to be a digital society where most of our services will be internet based,” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu said Government is safeguarding the country’s cyber space and is “on top of things”.
“What people ought to avoid is opening emails whose source they are not sure. Delete all rosy emails you don’t know about. If someone desperately wants to get in touch with you, they will find other means such as a phone call, to inform you of a pending email,” Mr Lungu said.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that carries out the cryptoviral extortion attack that blocks access to data until a ransom is paid, and displays a message requesting payment to unlock it.