The workshop from 2 to 4 April addressed issues on cybersecurity and cybercrime in Cameroon, national critical assets identification and the protection of critical cyberspace. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop, the General Manager of the [National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ANTIC)[(https://www.antic.cm/index.php/en/) Prof. Ebot Ebot Enaw highlighted the severity of cybercrimes in Cameroon amongst which scamming, phishing, identity theft through the creation of fake social media accounts, web defacement and skimming. Furthermore, with the exponential growth of internet usage in Cameroon Prof. Ebot said there have been more than 1400 cases of scams, over 2000 cases of phishing especially with mobile money transfers, 32 government agencies and ministries web defacements and several local banks have suffered considerable financial losses estimated at over £4.8 million.
Citing the pros and cons of technology, British High Commissioner to Cameroon, Rowan James Laxton said:
Advances in technology are transforming businesses, and transforming lives, around the world. The way we do business, use information and communicate with each other has changed beyond recognition in our lifetimes. In the wrong hands, these powerful capabilities can be used to disrupt our everyday lives, instead of improving them. They can be harnessed by malign actors to disrupt our democratic elections, undermine our financial systems and cripple our critical infrastructure.
Cybercrime has become a scourge that spares no state and the protection of critical assets has become a global challenge for both the developed and developing countries.
Mr Laxton added:
The UK is developing its own capability through a system called Active Cyber Defence which is blocking fake emails, taking down phishing attacks and preventing public sector systems from switching to malicious servers. In the past year, this system has stopped over four and a half million malicious emails from reaching users and has weeded out over half a million scam emails that pretended to come from government accounts. The UK is also committed to working with our partners to build cyber security capacity across the Commonwealth. The British Prime Minister announced during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting last year that the UK would be making £15 million available to support this work through to 2020. We are already funding capacity reviews for 11 Commonwealth countries in Africa and Asia under this Programme. The remaining £10 million will be delivered through our Digital Access Programme and the international strand of the National Cyber Security Programme.
The National Cyber Risks Assessment workshop is part of the Commonwealth’s Cyber Security Programme to support low and middle-income countries to tackle cyber threats.