The financial sector in the East African region is losing over Sh170 billion every year through cyber crime, according to Cyber Security Africa, a UK-based information and e-commerce security provider.
The firmâ€™s manager for Africa Sammy Kioko says most of the crimes are perpetuated by some employees in the institutions who hack into the systems and transfer money to unauthorised accounts.
â€œThe issue of cyber security threats in East Africa is actually increasing and this shows that huge amounts of money are being channelled out by hackers. We need to see a lot of government engagement by trying to enlighten people on what exactly is happening with cyber threats,â€ said Kioko.
He has also called for the need to educate Kenyans to be cautious with mobile phone hackers due to the increased use of the phones for financial transactions.
â€œPeople need to be aware how to use their phones to make sure that they donâ€™t get into the traps of these hackers. What happens for example is someone can send you a malicious PDF material with a photo then when you click to open, he gets to access all the information in your phone and then use that to do all the transactions illegally,â€ warned Kioko.
Kioko was speaking ahead of the East African Cyber Security Convention in Nairobi next month.
Cyber attacks have become a recurrent phenomenon in the East African region due to infrastructural, legal and policy loopholes. Currently, 60 percent of east African banks are susceptible to cyber crimes according to Deloitte.