CA Director General Francis Wangusi (left) and ITU’s Director of  Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) Brahima Sanou sign framework that would see ITU support the Authority in the fight against cybercrime.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has signed an agreement with International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for technical assistance to fight cybercrime in Kenya.

The agreement will specifically provide enhanced technical support to the National Computer Incident Response Team - Coordination Centre (KE-CIRT/CC) which operates in connection with the network of Computer Incident Response Team Centers (CIRTs).

The new pact is meant to combat the rise of sophisticated targeted attacks that pose clear risks and threats as new attacks, malware variants and vulnerabilities emerge every day. Defending networks from cyber-attacks have never been as challenging as it is today.

The agreement, signed in Geneva on 30 May 2015 by Mr. Francis Wangusi, CA Director General, and Mr. Brahima Sanou, ITU’s Director of Telecommunications Development Bureau (BDT), provides for among others the equipping of the National CIRT with forensics capabilities by the establishment of a national digital forensics centre to enable the country prepare for, detect, manage, and respond to cyber incidents if and when they occur.

The mission of national CIRTs includes warning, response and recovery efforts as well as the facilitation of collaboration between government entities, the private sector, academia, and the international community when dealing with cybersecurity issues.

Under the agreement, the Authority will provide a project team of a minimum of three officials to implement and coordinate the project on-site with ITU; mobilize local partners; host project team meetings; train the trainers, comprising National KE-CIRT/CC manager and analysts; provide local logistics, including deployment of equipment and human resources; provide Internet connection, and computer hardware and software; and promote the project among stakeholders.

The agreement is a follow up of an initial pact between the regulator and ITU signed on 16 February 2012 to establish the National Computer Incident Response Team, to serve as a trusted, central coordination point of contact for cybersecurity, aimed at identifying, defending, responding to and managing cyber threats.

Since their inception, the KE-CIRT/CC has been involved in devising effective strategies of fighting cybercriminals involved in such incidents as website defacement, impersonation on social media, email account hacking, cyber bullying, copyright infringement and mobile money services fraud. The team has also been waging war on criminals engaged in pornography and child online abuse as well as those hitting local banks through electronic fraud.