Cybercrime strategy needed – expert

SHARE   |   Monday, 31 August 2015   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang

The advancement of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is not avertable as countries need to be up to date with current technology. However, this has come with negative impacts as criminals have now seen a safe haven to conduct their illicit activities with unsuspecting eye from the users.
The advancing technology has heightened cybercrime which is becoming complex by the day. According experts, this calls for tight legislature and frameworks to curb cybercrime which can elevate to becoming a threat to national security. These developments have brought concerns to experts on the state of Botswana’s legislature regarding cybercrime.
According to cyber security expert Tshoganetso Kepaletswe, Botswana needs a comprehensive cybercrime strategy which will guide her on dealing with such matters going forward. According to the ITU Global Security Index 2014 report Botswana is ranked position 12 in Africa on cyber wellness commitment and Kepaletswe said this is an indication that a lot needs to be done.
The report assesses countries on five sectors of legal, organisational, technical, capacity building and cooperation. It has been found that even though Botswana has made some attempts there is still a lot that needs to be done regarding harmonisation of legislature. The Global Security Index revealed that Botswana does not have any officially recognised frameworks on most of the sectors assessed.
An official of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Cecil Mosiga, also alluded to this. He said there is currently no framework on coordination efforts against security threats and risk. “This leaves the country now exposed to such risks,” said Mosiga. 
He, however, said efforts are on-going to come up with the cyber security strategy. Masiga revealed that the strategy is coordinated at the Ministry of Transport and Communication. “This strategy will not only promote general safety but also economic and social status of the country,” he said. 
The experts are of a view that Batswana need to be educated on the matter to start being aware. “99 percent of cybercrime incidents can be easily prevented if people know what they are dealing with; so education is vital,” Kepaletswe said. He pointed out that Botswana should also start cooperating with other countries to work towards the harmonisation of laws regarding cyber security. He said that these issues do not respect any borders, hence the need for countries to work together.
The country, however, is making strides towards this as it continues to benchmark with other countries and organisations on matters of cyber security. In 2014 a delegation from Botswana went to Malaysia to learn about the impacts of cyber security services and how to improve Botswana’s status regarding the matter. Some of the issues that were presented to them were the importance of implementing the National Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) which the ITU Global Security Index indicates Botswana is lacking.
The Electronic Evidence Records ACT 2014 has seen as a step in the right direction. It is anticipated that the act will help in fighting cybercrime. The experts believe it is better for the country to be prepared for the effects of the advancing technology in this era. 



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