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Saccos Will Experience Double Cybersecurity Attacks in 2019 – Serianu

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Saccos will experience a tremendous increase in cybersecurity attacks next year due to increased skill set acquired by cyber criminals, warns Serianu Limited.

In a edition of Serianu’s Sacco Cybersecurity Report, Saccos are the go-to institutions for hackers as they do not have impregnable cyber security systems.

“Throughout our analysis and market research, its became undoubtedly clear that Saccos are now a lucrative target for attackers and stand to lose the most with the recent increase in Cyber threats due to limited visibility on their enterprise’s Cyber security posture,” said the report.

Serianu conducted the survey during the 2018 SASRA workshop for board and CEOs held in June 2018 in Mombasa, Kenya. 125 deposit taking Saccos representatives participated in the survey. Serianu asked the respondents, who included Chief Executive Officers, IT Directors, IT Managers and Board Chairs, questions regarding the state of Cybersecurity within their respective Saccos.

Only 9 per cent of Saccos invested over Ksh500,000 in 2018 on cyber security, exposing them to potential attacks due to less security measures put in place.

Over 50 per cent of Saccos do not have an established cyber security training program on cyber risks. The Saccos that never conduct awareness essentially are exposed to attacks that can be facilitated through social engineering.

38 per cent of the Saccos allow their staff to bring their own devices (such as flashdisks) that increases the number of attack vectors that an attacker would use to gain unauthorized access into a Sacco.

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“Hence, it is crucial that all Saccos permitting BYOD usage should have a working BYOD policy in an effort to mitigate the potential threats,” added the report.

Saccos have played an important role in uplifting the lives of people in the community through financial inclusion. According to the Kenya Financial Sector Stability Report 2017, Saccos contributed to 5.72 per cent of Kenya’s GDP controlling Ksh442.9 billion. And according to the SASRA Sacco supervision Report 2017, Saccos have a total membership of 3,599,200.

The SASRA’s report also indicates that the total asset base of deposit taking Saccos has been on a steady increase in the past three years.

In 2017, the total assets portfolio of deposit taking Saccos grew to reach Ksh442.3 billion from Ksh393.5 billion in 2016 reflecting a 12.4 per cent growth rate. In 2015, the total asset base had been recorded to be Ksh342.8 billion.

The number of employees working for Saccos increased in the year 2016 to 8,194 employees from 6,245 employees in 2015.

Only 40 per cent of the Saccos surveyed allow Cloud and IoT usage while 23 per cent have a Cloud and IoT Policy in place.

There is 31 per cent skill shortage on senior management levels while 83 per cent manage cyber security in-house.

“Severe cyber security skills shortages persist in every industry with Saccos and Insurance being the worst affected,” added the report.

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