Kenya's digital landscape faces a mounting challenge as cybersecurity vulnerabilities plague critical information systems, with about 50 per cent susceptible to hacking and data breaches.

According to statements made by officials on Thursday by Emmanuel Kata Kimeu, the secretary of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) security and audit control at the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy, highlighted the pervasive risk during a press conference in Nairobi.

He emphasized that the financial sector, propelled by the swift adoption of mobile banking, stands particularly exposed to cybersecurity intrusion and attacks.

“Information systems used for telemedicine, e-learning, and transport navigation are also in the high-risk zone for cyber threats,” Kimeu cautioned during the unveiling of the National Cyber Risk Assessment report, a collaborative effort between the Communications Authority of Kenya and National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee.

The report outlines a comprehensive national risk assessment framework identifying vulnerable assets and resources across critical sectors.

In response to the escalating threat landscape, Kenya is ramping up efforts to mitigate cyber risks, with a strategic focus on bolstering its cyber workforce.

Kimeu outlined plans for a robust risk treatment strategy, including the recruitment of additional cyber professionals to fortify critical information systems.

Director of ICT and cybersecurity at the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy, Jackson Makewa, underscored the severity of malware and ransomware as predominant cyber threat vectors.

He stressed the importance of proactive measures such as information sharing, cyber threat intelligence, and vulnerability disclosure in combating these threats.

Kenya's cybersecurity initiatives signal a proactive stance towards safeguarding its digital infrastructure.

However, officials acknowledge the imperative for sustained investment and fortification of cyber governance frameworks across sectors to effectively mitigate evolving cyber risks.