Power of data rests in cyber-secured data

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Dr. Bright Maduwor, Head of Cyber Security, IS

Data breaches seem to be a daily occurrence a process that continues to send shockwaves particularly in organizations which ought to invest in cyber-security beforehand than after the hack, Dr. Bright Maduwor, Cyber Security Expert with Internet Solutions has said.

While making a two-part presentation, at the premier Cloud and Security Summit in Kigali Rwanda themed: Protecting the Digital Space, Dr. Maduwor said it is easy to become desensitized if organizations became so ignorant of the basis.

“It perplexes how organizations are subjected to data breaches at such a high rate despite the continued awareness of the need to enhance safe-guards of data at either cloud or premise,” he said as he called on organisations and individuals to become more vigilant in securing valuable data.

Delegates following visionary presentations at the Cloud and Security Summit organized by CIO East Africa and Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) in Kigali. 

Looking at the dynamic world of technology, organizations are increasing in the number of data they collect and the more information that they have and are being traded in the inter-web gives a lot of power to who has it.

Information landing into the wrong hands gives a leverage and allows for manipulation or control over individuals or organizations. Hackers are not sleeping and are forever looking for new ways to compromise organizations by various means. The methodologies are always evolving and new hacking tricks are getting more sophisticated than ever.

“The traditional way of hacking is no more which allows for various conventional ways to get to the target such that end goals are different depending on the situation at hand. The hacker killchain relies more on reconnaissance of a target which is gathering enough information as possible to make the end goal of exploitation easier at the end,” said Dr. Bright Maduwor.

In his ethical hacking simulation at the just concluded Cloud and Security Summit 2018 organized by CIO East Africa and Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) Dr. Maduwor said, hackers perform reconnaissance and foot-printing of a target using Open Source Intelligence which does not require for a commercial license to use in the act. He noted that these are publicly available there are various tutorials available for anyone to try out.

In his inspiring presentation that attracted an average of 200 IT experts in from East Africa, Dr. Bright walked the delegates on a journey of what the hacker’s mindset and further delved into the latest trends, techniques and tools that are used to compromise a target as an individual or organization.

The final bit of the presentation demonstrated how various Antivirus evasion techniques that hackers employ to go undetected and the level of damage they can do to a target on a network or out of a network.

“It was enlightening to learn how organizations can be compromised owing to deliberate ignorance of procedures and policies laid down to secure the data in organization,”

Jean di Dieu Ruraringwa, ICT Minister Rwanda

In full appreciation of Dr. Bright’s presentation and live demo, Jean di Dieu Ruraringwa, Rwanda minister of ICT said that it is time that more organization invested in ethical hackers. “It was enlightening to learn how organizations can be compromised owing to deliberate ignorance of procedures and policies laid down to secure the data in organization,” said the minister.

Noting that while  technology adoption continues to rise in Africa, with mobile smart device ownership growing exponentially, social media use increasing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming a reality, cyber security need to be enhanced beyond organizations.

Even the most conservative metrics show that Africa is poised to make great gains and help fuel global growth into the future. With this growing prosperity and digitization, however comes new risks and vulnerabilities that could undermine progress.

In order for Africa to realize its full potential and to reap the full dividend from the development of the digital economy, the most important driver today for innovation, competitiveness and growth, policymakers will need to implement effective policies and awareness initiatives to stem the rising tide of cyber threats said the minister.

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