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Establishing a National CSIRT in Africa - Kenyan Case Study


Cybersecurity is a growing global concern as critical infrastructure and services including financial, energy, telecommunication and transport increasingly becoming internet-dependent.    Deterring cybercrime is an integral component of a national cybersecurity and critical information infrastructure protection (CIIP) strategy. 


The formulation and implementation of a cybersecurity strategy requires a comprehensive approach that involves the adoption of appropriate legislation against the misuse of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) for criminal purposes, coordinated action to prevent, prepare, respond and recover from incidents in cooperation with relevant partners at a national, regional and international level. 


On the basis of research and benchmarking, this paper reviews various considerations for the establishment of a national CSIRT.  The paper proposes the publishing of a national Cybersecurity strategy to support the provisions of the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 2009 which proscribes cybercrime acts including unauthorized access to computer data and interception of computer service, publishing obscene information, electronic fraud among others.  To facilitate the enforcement of these provisions and improve cybersecurity in Kenya this paper recommends a process for the institutionalisation of a national Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) based on a public private partnership (PPP) model.


Further the paper recommends that a phased approached be taken in the establishment of the national CSIRT in order to prove the importance of the services thus acquiring buy-in from private sector which is critical in the provision of cybersecurity related information.  In addition collaboration with the international CSIRT community is imperative to the working of the national CSIRT to facilitate trusted exchange of information. 

Establishing a National Computer Security Incident Response Team (C...

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Comment by Mayengo Tom Kizito on September 15, 2011 at 11:36am

I have filled out the survey questions.

Thank you for the update!

Comment by Mwende Njiraini on September 15, 2011 at 9:32am
The AfricaCERT project management team is doing an assessment on the current cybersecurity in Africa situation.
Comment by Mayengo Tom Kizito on September 8, 2011 at 7:29am

Thank you Mwende for the work on Cyber Security. Just like other people, Cyber security is a very critical section of Internet as we move to bring Internet to every one, there is need to curb the emergence of Cyber crime.

Just like other Initiatives in my country, Uganda has already proposed the Cyber Security Strategy and legisilative requirement, but my worry is the implementation mandate these East African Countries have. Being in the critical area of both Internet development and National Security, we badly need implementation atleast for this one.

Comment by Mwende Njiraini on September 6, 2011 at 9:40am

Thank you for the comments on the Cybersecurity Incident Response Team (CSIRT) Kenya study. 

I hope that the concepts, ideas and information shared in the research paper will be useful for African countries seeking to set up a similar cybersecurity incident handling teams that recognize the unique circumstances in each country.

Comment by Sarah Kiden on September 5, 2011 at 5:21pm
Thank you Mwende for the initiative and efforts. The proposal is good and it is exciting to hear these ideas implemented back home (in Africa). I agree with Emmanuel about awareness campaigns and sensitization.
Comment by Emmanuel Oloo Khisa on September 4, 2011 at 9:18am
Thanks Mwende for this initiative. Its a great initiative as this is a crucial area as access to the internet and other cyber resources increases not just in Kenya but across the region. During this year's Safer Internet Day, we saw the interest among the little ones on matters security. I believe primary and high school awareness campaigns need to be scaled up to further enhance the value of this noble initiative.



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