The Relevance of the Ministry of Cyber Security

Following the Cabinet reshuffle which became effective yesterday, a new ministry emerged , The Ministry of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation, which is led by non other than the former finance minister Patrick Chinamasa. This has raised a lot of questions on its relevance in alleviating the current challenges faced by Zimbabwe as a nation as well as to events which led to it. Is it relevant ? What is the significance?

The Relevance of the Ministry of Cyber Security

Following the Cabinet reshuffle which became effective yesterday, a new ministry emerged , the Ministry of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation, which is led by non other than the former finance minister Patrick Chinamasa. This has raised a lot of questions on its relevance in alleviating the current challenges faced by Zimbabwe as a nation as well as to the events which led to this step. Is it relevant ? What is the significance?

It is difficult to conclude on the relevance of the Ministry of Cyber Security to the realization of the long awaited national improvements and breakthoughs that most Zimbabweans are expecting without understanding the meaning of Cyber Security, elements involved and their essence to our nation.

What is CyberSecurity then ?

Cyber security or computer based information security are the techniques of protecting computers,computer networks, computer programs and data from unauthorized access and from exploitation usually by computer criminals.

So this basically covers the following areas:

1) Application Securityencompasses measures taken to improve the security of computer application often by finding, fixing and preventing security vulnerabilities

2) Information Security-the state of being protected against the unauthorized use of information, especially electronic data, as well as the measures taken to achieve this.

3) Disaster recovery-Is a process of salvaging (retrieving) inaccessible, lost, corrupted, damaged or formatted data from secondary storage or computer, removable media or files, when the data stored in them cannot be accessed in a normal way.

4) Network Security- Is the process of taking physical and software preventative measures to protect the underlying networking infrastructure from unauthorized access, misuse, malfunction, modification, destruction, or improper disclosure, thereby creating a secure platform for computers, users and programs to perform their permitted critical functions within a secure environment.

How Is this applicable in Zimbabwe?

From the definitions above, this can be widely applicable in Zimbabwe. A lot of people now days following the cash crisis that Zimbabwe has been facing, are using cashless transations through ecocash,telecash ZIMSWITCH etc. These systems have to be secure. So without sound cyber security measures and policies and checks, this may just lead to disaster.

System failures may be inevitable sometimes, but what is important is that, there must be sound recovery action plans to avoid loss and major inconciniences afterwards.

Also some companies and organizations in zimbabwe now have huge databases networked by relatively sophisticated computer sytems. The network systems that support such computer driven systems must therefore be secured from manipulation and external intrusion.

I feel that Cyber Security in this context is therefore very relevant in the structures of our government as a nation. The remaining question is that Is it necessary to be a stand alone ministry ?

We have the ministry of ICT currently headed by minister Mandiwanzira. Are there any clear cut differencies between the two ministries ? Isn't cybersecurity a subset of ICT ?

So is it relevant to have a separate Cyber Security Ministry under a heavily paid minister ?


 


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