Ministry of ICT presents the Eswatini National Cyber Security Strategy 2022-2027. Meanwhile, the ESCCOM CE also reveals that this year’s Cybersecurity month campaign will see the launch of the inaugural Cybersecurity Indaba in the country bringing together different players in the industry to protect young users and consumers accessing commercial and government services online.  

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By Avite Mbabazi

The Ministry of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and the Eswatini Communication Commission (ESCCOM) have jointly launched this year’s Eswatini Awareness Cybersecurity Month 2022.

This year’s campaign is launched under the theme “A secure cyberspace for all” #BeCyberSmart.

ESCCOM Chief Executive (CE), Mvilawemphi Dlamini noted in his address that this year’s Cybersecurity Month Campaign will focus on a group dubbed ‘the crown jewels’ of the country. He said the primary crown jewels are young people who need to be protected as they are the country’s future leaders as well as business pioneers.

The CE added that the mistake made in most cases when dealing with issues of Cybersecurity is to prioritize infrastructure over people yet people are the most vulnerable in the cyber ecosystem.

Most notably, however, this year’s cyber security campaign will see the launch of the first-ever Cyber Security Indaba aimed at bringing together industry players and legislators to create a platform that will facilitate the discussion of pertinent cyber security matters, cyber threats, the trends affecting Emaswati and the role everyone can play in promoting cyber security in the country.

The inaugural Indaba will also serve as a stage for renowned cybersecurity players to showcase their cybersecurity solutions.

Dlamini also revealed that this year’s campaign will also include the launch of the National Cyber Security Strategy in supporting legislative frameworks and also launch of the revamped Cybersecurity Incident Response Team.

Given that Eswatini is increasingly being digitized, Dlamini stressed the importance of using the campaign to increase consumer trust in online services. “In order to gain consumer trust, the campaign will provide tools for consumers to ensure safe and secure online shopping in partnership with the Universal Access Service Fund, the campaign will also raise awareness of ATM and mobile wallets fraud,” he revealed.

To ensure the cyber security of young people, the ESCCOM will conduct school visits to raise cyber security awareness amongst the youth. The CE said this is a crucial part of the campaign because young people are by far the majority of users of cyberspace and are vulnerable to online sexual abuse, stalking and inappropriate commercials, sexting, and gaming applications.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of ICT’s Under Secretary (US) Macanjana Motsa who spoke on behalf of the Minister of ICT, HRH Princess Sikhanyiso said the fact that emaSwati are spending a lot of time on technology means that there must be great importance assigned to awareness and better security practices in the online world. She further said it is imperative that a solid legislative environment is put in place to protect emaSwati online.

Most importantly though, the Ministry also presented the Eswatini National Cyber Security Strategy 2022-2027. “The National Cyber Security Strategy provides a national framework detailing a comprehensive and coherent approach to protecting the critical national infrastructure and systems, businesses, as well as citizens of Eswatini. Through this strategy we envision a safe secure and resilient cyberspace in Eswatini” she noted.

The Eswatini Bankers Association (EBA) through its Chairperson, Mbali Sibanyoni noted that their reports indicate an increase in investment scams or fraud compared to the previous year. She said it is easy to fall prey to fraudsters which is why they continue to emphasize their theme as EBA which is think before you click. Sibanyoni said going forward they will continue to educate emaSwati on ensuring that they protect their hard-earned money.

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