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Call to protect govt data against theft, loss

Western Regional Commissioner Irungu Macharia has urged government officers to protect data against loss through theft or any disaster.

Speaking in Bungoma, the RC urged the officers to put in place enough security measures and back up information for ease of retrieval in case of loss of hard copies.

This follows reports of the theft of computers from government offices in the Western region, where he said thieves target information from those computers and not necessarily the gadgets.

He noted that, apart from theft, disasters and hazards like fire and floods could lead to the loss of data if not stored properly.

The RC also said that the only documents and information that could be classified as open and given free access to the public were those on the notice boards and those appearing in the newspapers.

“Any other document, information, or letter in the offices is classified; don’t give access to anybody unless authorised,” he noted.

He was speaking during the public participation forum on the proposed Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes (Critical Information Infrastructure and Cybercrime Management) Draft Regulations 2023.

The Regional Commissioner said the government has digitised over 7,000 services and is creating Wi-Fi- hotspots, which need to be secured for the online safety of Kenyans against cyberattacks.

He added that the opening up of the digital space through public Wi-Fi hotspots puts some online users, especially those who are not tech-savvy, at risk of cyberattacks.

He said the Cybercrimes Act would secure Kenyans as they use the digital space to access massive online job opportunities and access government services from the comfort of their homes without worrying about losing their information, phishing, or any other forms of attack.

He urged residents to familiarise themselves with the proposed law in order to avoid being in conflict, as stringent measures, including fines and jail terms, were stipulated against those who would violate it.

Western Regional Police Commander Kiprono Langat noted that the Act would support police during their investigations to ensure criminals assaulting citizens in cyberspace are apprehended and charged.

“In the past, we were not able to serve our citizens and get justice because we lacked proper legislation, and they ended up going back home dejected. However, from today on, we are going to ensure that we work on their cases and they get the justice they are seeking,” he added.

By Moses Wekesa

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