Kenya’s technology firm Dimension Data is stepping up war on cyber threats with the launch of an intelligence hub.

The firm has developed a platform known as the Dimension Data Threat Intelligence Centre to enhance its fight on online security threats.

Data Dimensions head of managed security services Bright Mawudor said small enterprises should keenly watch out, noting that cyber criminals are shifting their focus from large enterprises to SMEs.

A recent research by the firm indicates that 58 percent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have suffered some form of cyber-attack, with 81 percent of them being compelled to go back to the drawing board and put in place new security strategies.

Mr Mawudor noted that small firms face hard times coming up with watertight strategies against the constantly innovative cyber criminals.

“SMEs have tighter IT budget constraints, coupled with limited capacity to invest and maintain an in-house cybersecurity expert,” said Mr Mawudor, adding that small firms are constrained financially and hence do not sufficient budgets for digital security.

A cybersecurity report by the Communications Authority of Kenya indicates that at least 38 million SMEs reported cases of cyber-attacks in the period between January and April 2021. Out of these, 51 percent were related to malicious software, commonly referred to as malware.

Further, SMEs are facing additional challenges in their quest to digitise operations, emanating from the provisions of the Data Protection Bill (2019) which places legal responsibility on them to protect their clients’ data

“These small businesses are ending up compromising on security controls making them a prime target for cybercriminals and vulnerable to all kinds of threats, especially ransomware and internal threats, which has seen an increase in recent months,” Mr Mawudor stated.

The Kenya Financial Sector Stability Report 2020 released by the Central Bank of Kenya indicates that savings and investment schemes popularly known as saccos lost Sh106 million in 17 months to March this year.

Cyber attackers, the report revealed, target weak controls of the systems given minimal verification of members’ identity.

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