Telecommunication/Data companies in Uganda have been advised to invest and build cyber security readiness for their employees ahead of time and not wait until a crisis has happened to take action.
Sheriff Hashem, a principle cyber security advisor at Egypt National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) said cyber threat is now a bigger crisis around the world that can hamper service delivery and hence needs to be taken serious by both government and the service companies if consumers/ company data is to be protected.
“Over the years, cyber-attacks have become common even in more developed countries like China, USA, Egypt among others. it is very important for companies to invest heavily in systems that uplift Cyber security but also train and up skill their employees to enhance their knowledge and skill to detect and protect the company’s data against cyber-attacks,” Dr Hashem said.
This was during the inaugural CEOs’ cyber security breakfast hosted by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) at their offices in Bugolobi on Friday morning.
Hashem who delivered a key note address on the effects of cyber security on the Telecom companies, noted that there was need for government of Uganda to put in place a comprehensive national cyber security strategy, policy and strong penalties to telecom and data companies that do not comply with cyber security guidelines.
Irene Sewankambo, the Director Engineering and Communication Infrastructure who represented the UCC Executive Director said that the forum, which will be an annual event was organised to give a heads of telecommunication companies, policymakers and implementers a platform where they can freely discuss, share information and way forwards on how cyber security can be improved in Uganda.
Sewankambo said that as UCC, they were giving priority to cyber security because they understand how it can negatively affect the sector
“We need to continue working together as the communication sector to ensure that the sector is kept safe. To you it might be just be a sector but for us, it’s the economy. If your services are attacked, there are major disruptions that can damage the reputation of Uganda as an economy” she sakd
According to her, UCC has specific programs aimed at enabling Telecommunication companies and their employees by building capacity as well as a forensic laboratory that telecom operators can take advantage of.