Cybercrime, a threat to Cameroon’s nascent digital economy
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27 February 2019
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The prevalence of cybercrime - any illegal activity carried out with the aid of a computer or network-connected device, such as a mobile phone, is a menacing problem in Cameroon. With the digitisation of Cameroon’s economy, “cyber-attacks pose a significant threat to the development of the economy since most activities and operations are moving online,” ANTIC’s Director General, Prof. Ebot Ebot Enaw, hinted at the outset of a seminar to raise the awareness of the population of Dja et Lobo Division of the South Region on cyber security and cybercrime in Sangmelima, 27 February 2019.

 

Though the Internet is commended as a dependable tool for development in the country, some malicious individuals use it for dangerous and egocentric ends - steal, blackmail, impersonate, invade privacy, scam, defame and carry out all sorts of cybercrime. Statistics on the amplitude of cybercrime in Cameroon indicate that local banks have lost a colossal sum of over FCFA 3 billion in recent years with close to 1200 cases of identity theft recorded and over 800 cases of scams registered, Prof Ebot, noted.

 

Cyber security experts hold that many people continue to buckle under cyber-attacks and online scams in Cameroon because they manipulate ICT gadgets and access Internet services with very limited or no knowledge about the plethora of dangers lurking underneath. Ignorance is what makes Internet users more susceptible to cybercrime.

 

With the human factor being the weakest link in the cyber security chain, public awareness campaigns and training are therefore key in reversing this trend, the Director General underlined. It is with this in hindsight, that ANTIC is currently conducting a seminar to raise the awareness of the population of Dja et Lobo Division on cyber security and cybercrime.

The campaign under the rallying banner -"Stop Cybercrime, together let's bar the way," has convened close to 400 participants drawn from all walks of life and is crystallising public opinion on the "dos and don'ts" on the Internet not without bringing to the fore existing legal, technical and institutional dispositions put in place by ANTIC to deter cybercrime.

Given that cyber security risks are growing , both in in prevalence and disruptive potential, the Government has put in place a Computer Incident Response Team, CIRT and a national Public Key Infrastructure, PKI managed by ANTIC, as measures taken to address global challenges in the national cyberspace.

At the fringes of the seminar’s opening ceremony featured the award of prizes -mainly ICT devices worth FCFA 5,000, 000 (five million) to five local colleges that participated in an inter-college ICT quiz organised by ANTIC in prelude to the seminar.

Lycee Classique et Moderne de Mvomeka was ranked first and backed home, a multifunctional printer (that prints, scans and photocopy), a desktop computer and Unique Power Supply backup. Meanwhile, participants at the seminar have been provided with Internet Security Guides that target youths and parents with an Information System Security Guide for the industry. 

 

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