MACRA, in collaboration with stakeholders in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in the country, has designed a National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).
The designing process, which was facilitated by ICT experts from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), took place at a week-long workshop in Lilongwe in November. CERT, which is a provision in the E-Transaction and Cybersecurity Act (2016), will provide protection actions to Malawi’s Critical Information Infrastructures and serve as a base for national coordination in responding to ICT security threats. In his remarks during the official opening of the workshop, MACRA’s Technical Advisor on Digital Migration, Dr. Benson Tembo said CERT is key to Malawi’s development if the country is to tackle cyber risks that could impact on its economic and social benefits.
ITU representative, Serge Zongo said cyber crimes are real and cited a Gabon case where government websites were attacked.
“In Gabon 60 of 102 government and other official websites were taken offline for a couple of hours by a group of hackers in October, 2018.
“Most ITU member States in Africa and indeed the SADC region are faced with lack of the necessary support structures, including the necessary frameworks, strategies, at national level to deal with cyber incidents,” he said.
He said only four SADC member states have established CERTs thus Mauritius, South
Africa, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.
“ITU is happy with Malawi’s commitment on the establishment of its national CERT,” he added.
Implementation of the CERT will commence soon after the designing phase.