By Lemekezani Chisambiro
The Malawi Computer Emergency Response Team (mwCERT) has been accepted into the international confederation of trusted computer incident response team, FIRST, as a member.
FIRST is a global forum where cyber security experts from governments, the private sector and academia come together to foster cooperation and coordination in incident prevention to stimulate rapid reactions to incidents and to promote information sharing between members and the community at large.
With a membership from 105 countries and 679 security teams, FIRST serves as a global forum where cyber security experts from governments, private sector and the academia come together to foster cooperation and coordination in incident prevention, to stimulate rapid reaction to incidents, and to promote information sharing between members and the community at large.
Speaking at the 35th FIRST annual general conference which was held In Canada under the theme ‘Empowering communities’, the head of mwCERT, Christopher Banda, said one of the major challenges Malawi is meeting in its cyberspace is mobile money fraud.
“One of the ways we are addressing this vice is through intensive awareness for all ICT consumers because we realized that in 90 percent of the time mobile money fraud is socially engineered meaning that the users or consumers play a huge role in the scheme.
“We believe that educating ICT consumers on good cyber hygiene will go a long way in our fight against these scammers,” he said.
Malawi is implementing various initiatives to ensure a safe and resilient cyberspace for all.
These include the development of a Child Online Protection national strategy, the review of various legislations and introduction of new laws to tackle the current cyber landscape, and the development of rules and regulations such as the sim card registration regulations to address the gaps in the sim card registration process.
Malawi is moving towards a digital economy where ICT is the backbone on which to build a government, health, education, finance, commerce and infrastructure systems.
In order to ensure a safe and secure cyberspace, Malawi passed the Electronic Transactions and Cyber Security Act which mandated the establishment and implementation of the mwCERT.
Currently the mwCERT is fully operational and one of major issues the team is tackling is the mobile money fraud vice which is rampant in the country.
MwCERT is a unit within MACRA. It was established pursuant to Section 6 of the Electronic Transaction and Cyber Security Act, 2016 of the Laws of Malawi and it is responsible for the national coordination and protection of critical information infrastructure in the country.