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The East African : April 14th 2014
The EastAfrican APRIL 12-18, 2014 FIGHTING COUNTERFEITS Special advertising section 55 Ten per cent of global cybercrime incidents target Africa Industry and government must work together to fight the scourge of piracy and cybercrime across the continent, says Microsoft Each year, cybercrime takes a personal and financial toll on millions of people across the globe. According to the International Telecommunications Union, the situation in Africa is concerning, as the continent accounts for 10 per cent of global cybercrime incidents, yet it only contributes two per cent towards the global GDP. Af≥ican Union, as well as fo≥ gove≥nments ac≥oss Af≥ica. While cybe≥c≥ime and softwa≥e pi≥acy a≥e usually battles fought at an indust≥y level, di≠e≥ent indust≥ies and gove≥nments must also wo≥k togethe≥ to fight the scou≥ge. This is the view of Daniel Kamau, AntiPi≥acy Lead fo≥ sub-Saha≥an Af≥ica at Mic≥osoft. “The battle against pi≥acy and, ultimately, cybe≥c≥ime is becoming c≥itical ac≥oss the globe,” he says. A ≥ecent study ≥eleased by Mic≥osoft, as pa≥t of its annual “Play it Safe Day campaign,” not only shows that the≥e is a di≥ect co≥≥elation between pi≥acy and cybe≥c≥ime, but that use≥s a≥e putting themselves at ≥isk, often unknowingly, by installing pi≥ated softwa≥e. “The study, which was conducted by ≥esea≥ch fi≥m IDC and the National Unive≥sity of Singapo≥e, highlights the ≥isks associated with malwa≥e that could, fo≥ example, steal you≥ passwo≥ds, imitate you≥ banking site and allow hacke≥s f≥ee access to you≥ system.” The study also ≥eveals that consume≥s and ente≥p≥ises ac≥oss the globe have a 33 pe≥ cent chance of encounte≥ing malwa≥e when they install pi≥ated softwa≥e o≥ buy a PC with pi≥ated softwa≥e on it. “The IDC estimates that, in 2014, damage caused by malwa≥e associated with pi≥ated softwa≥e will cost ente≥p≥ises $491 billion. B≥eaking this down, businesses will spend $127 billion dealing with secu≥ity issues and $364 billion dealing with data b≥eaches.” Almost two thi≥ds of these ente≥p≥ise losses, o≥ $315 billion, will be the ≥esult A SECURITY WITH WINDOWS 8 WE KNOW THAT OUR SYSTEMS ARE SECURE WITH THE LATEST SECURITY HOTFIXES, GIVING US PEACE OF MIND AND EVERYTHING OPERATES MORE SMOOTHLY AND EFFICIENTLY. s a ≥esult, cybe≥ secu≥ity is becoming a key p≥io≥ity fo≥ the of o≥ganised c≥ime, o≥ malwa≥e launched by financially motivated c≥iminals. “While these a≥e global statistics, the Business Softwa≥e Alliance ≥eleased figu≥es in 2011 stating that Af≥ica’s softwa≥e pi≥acy ≥ate was at 80 pe≥ cent, compa≥ed with a global ≥ate of 47 pe≥ cent,” says Kamau. “This p≥oves that, even on the Af≥ican continent, we a≥e facing a ≥eal issue in te≥ms of intellectual p≥ope≥ty b≥eaches and potential exposu≥e to cybe≥c≥ime.” “The Kenyan Copy≥ight Act which was last amended in 2013 clea≥ly sets out exclusive ≥ights fo≥ ≥ights holde≥s and penalties fo≥ those who inf≥inge on copy≥ight and ≥elated ≥ights. Resea≥ch has shown that it is not only impo≥tant to p≥otect this type of innovation, but also to highlight the ≥isks associated with using unautho≥ised softwa≥e. These include exposing you≥self and you≥ business to potential malwa≥e infections, a loss of data and even cybe≥c≥ime incidents,” says Ma≥isella Ouma, executive di≥ecto≥ of the Kenya Copy≥ight Boa≥d.¬¬¬¬¬ When asked about thei≥ g≥eatest secu≥ity fea≥s, consume≥s cited loss of data o≥ pe≥sonal info≥mation (60 pe≥ cent) and unautho≥ised access o≥ online f≥aud (51 pe≥ cent). “These fea≥s a≥e ve≥y ≥eal, yet 43 pe≥ cent of consume≥s do not ≥outinely install secu≥ity updates on thei≥ compute≥s,” says Kamau. “This b≥ings anothe≥ big ≥isk to the fo≥ef≥ont – that of using outdated softwa≥e that is no longe≥ suppo≥ted with c≥itical updates,” he adds. Outdated softwa≥e inc≥eases cybe≥c≥ime ≥isk Windows XP is an example of outdated softwa≥e that is still widely used in Af≥ica, putting consume≥s and businesses at high ≥isk of exposu≥e to cybe≥attacks, vi≥uses and malwa≥e. On Ap≥il 8, 2014, Windows XP ≥eached its end of suppo≥t lifecycle. The Mic≥osoft suppo≥t lifecycle policy standa≥dises Mic≥osoft p≥oduct suppo≥t policies and stipulates that Mic≥osoft will o≠e≥ minimum suppo≥t fo≥ each p≥oduct fo≥ 10 yea≥s. Windows XP and O∞ce 2003 we≥e g≥eat softwa≥e ≥eleases mo≥e than a decade ago, but technology has evolved to meet the needs and expectations of ou≥ custome≥s, as well as to stand up to an inc≥easingly complex wo≥ld of cybe≥-attacks. Chege Thumbi, the di≥ecto≥ of Technology & Ope≥ations at NIC Bank says, “Moving o≠ Windows XP was a c≥itical and necessa≥y decision fo≥ the bank. With Windows 8 we know that ou≥ systems a≥e secu≥e with the latest secu≥ity hotfixes, giving us peace of Daniel Kamau, Anti-Piracy Lead for sub-Saharan Africa at Microsoft mind and eve≥ything ope≥ates mo≥e smoothly and e∞ciently. The sta≥tup time has been ≥educed f≥om seve≥al minutes to seconds and the ≥ange of business applications means we can continue to innovate and ≥emain indust≥y leade≥s.” With Windows 8, we ≥emain t≥ue to the bank’s new st≥ategy ‘Move to NOW ‘ that unde≥pins ou≥ commitment to delive≥ solutions to ou≥ “NOW “custome≥ who is demanding se≥vices on the go, anytime, anywhe≥e,” says Chege. “Once the suppo≥t fo≥ Windows XP ends, the softwa≥e will no longe≥ ≥eceive new secu≥ity updates, non-secu≥ity hotfixes, f≥ee o≥ paid assisted suppo≥t options, o≥ online technical content updates f≥om Mic≥osoft, which leaves the use≥ vulne≥able,” says Kamau. “This leaves those who continue to use the softwa≥e at high ≥isk of malwa≥e infections and without p≥ope≥ suppo≥t should thei≥ systems fail,” he concludes.
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