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New pact to address Cyberattacks on small businesses

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By Monica Muema

Cyber security solutions distributor, Kristel Communication has partnered with Paessler –a German network monitoring software firm to launch a new application targeting start-ups and SMEs.

Dubbed, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher (PRTG), the new application unveiled Thursday will offer real time alerts on possible cyber-attacks and other malfunctions by monitoring companies’ systems and infrastructure.

PRTG technology runs on a Windows machine within the network and can automatically discover devices and collect various statistics including traffic.

Speaking during the launch of the product in East Africa Ben Obinju, Kristen Communication Chief Executive Officer, termed the partnership with Paessler as timely at a period when the country has seen increased cyber security threats targeting businesses in Kenya and the region.

“As a cybersecurity company, we have been working to ensure all our clients are cyber resilient by helping them mitigate the day-to-day risks that originate from cyber threats,” said Mr Obinju.

Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) Kenya chapter predicts that cyber-attacks such as malware and ransomware will continue to pose serious threats to businesses in the digital space.

Among the expected early adopters for the project include the financial sector including banks, SACCOs and deposit-taking microfinance institutions especially those operating mobile applications to extend services to customers.

PRTG will therefore enable organizations to optimize their It department focus on their roles through a powerful and flexible platform,” said Irene Gorrissen, Business Development & Technical Sales Manager for Africa.

Kristen terms the deployment of this product as timely, coming at a post-pandemic period when most organizations have automated their operations.

In 2020 for instance, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) cautioned businesses against a rising surge in Cyber criminals taking advantage of opportunities brought by digitization as more citizens enter the digital realm.

Such attacks are likely to increase in frequency. Financial institutions like commercial banks and credit unions as well as government institutions happened to be the most vulnerable in the hands of the faceless criminals.

In 2017, Kenya’s top leading companies Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and mobile operator Safaricom reported suspicions of systems hacking with the former losing Sh 4billion from a hack into its systems.

Data by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) in April 2020 further showed that Kenyan organizations had been hit by about 37.1 million cyber threats in the last quarter of 2019 compared to the previous quarter, which was a 47.3 percent increase.

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