Saturday, June 22News That Matters

Gov’t launches taskforce on cyber security to reduce on fraud.

Gov’t has launched a team which will be responsible to reduce and are found on cyber security to reduce on fraud.
Digital fraud has become a growing concern costing Ugandans billions of shillings, with estimates of lost income close to Shs 100 billion mark in 2022 alone, many Ugandans have been left vulnerable to the vice.
As such the government has launched a task force on cyber security, a move which it believes will be critical in fighting cybercrimes in the country.
This was revealed by the Deputy Director General of the Internal Security Organisation, Colonel Emmanuel Katabazi as Next Media, in collaboration with various Ugandan televisions and radio stations and critical players in the digital economy launched a campaign dubbed “Beera Steady Be Better,” to sensitise Ugandans on financial literacy, fraud prevention and the protection of digital income.
With about 76% of Ugandans using digital financial services for transactions, anyone can fall prey to digital fraud.
Katabazi who is also the chair of the Cyber Security Task Force, said in terms of national security, they consider the threat of these fraudsters hacking and mobile money fraud as a serious matter to the national economy and global peace.
“There are cases we are handling, and we thank the banks and regulators for their assistance, including the DPP’s office. We are trying to make sure that any evidence can be turned into prosecutable evidence to tighten all loopholes,” he said.
“Report and help us track the criminals. On behalf of the cyber security task force, we want to thank everybody and assure you we have selected the best Committee to ensure we secure the space and everybody should be steady,” he added.
He thanked all agencies that have come together on this matter and those that have been catching the fraudsters, adding that very soon they will name the culprits such that the people of Uganda know what they are.
“On behalf of the Cyber Security Task Force, we are committed to ensuring the digital space is safe and everybody is steady, “he said.
According to the Police Crime Report of 2022, a total of 286 cases of cybercrimes were reported compared to 258 cases reported in 2021, giving a 10.8% increase in this crime category.
By the end of that year, 45 cases were taken to court, 9 cases were not proceeded with while 232 cases are still under inquiry. Out of the total cases taken to court, 5 cases secured convictions, 1 case was dismissed while 39 cases are pending in court.
Cybercrimes led to a loss of Shs19,209,798,000 in 2022, out of which Shs 16,790,000 was recovered
Through the campaign solutions to help Ugandans protect and multiply their financial resources, particularly those in the digital realm, will be the key focus.
The behavioural change campaign will run for a minimum of 24 months, and will utilise the collective resources of key industry players.
Kin Kariisa, Group CEO Next Media Services said around November last year they engaged some research organisations, and it was found that Ugandans were bothered about digital fraud.
The study, he said, revealed that 76% of Ugandans had ever interfaced with fraud.
“What we are saying is, can we work together as an industry to deal with digital fraud? UCC and other partners have run several initiatives fighting fraudsters but these “bafere” are not listening. They are getting wiser every day,” he said.
He said campaign which is going to run for two years seeks to see Ugandans embrace the digital economy and trust that “digital money is real money”
The acting Executive Director at the Uganda Communications Commission, Eng. Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, echoed the importance of the campaign, saying the campaign is a timely initiative that will help Ugandans navigate the increasingly digital landscape and protect their financial resources.
“We are slowly going to a cashless economy, and if we want to be part of the national social transformation process, we need to be armed with the correct information,” she said.

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