KEBS approves standards to improve information security, consumer privacy

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KEBS Managing Director Bernard Njiraini.
KEBS Managing Director Bernard Njiraini. PHOTO/COURTESY

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has approved forty new standards to enhance information and cybersecurity and safeguard consumer privacy.

The new standards outline various techniques and methods for securing corporate information by an individual or managers charged with the responsibility of ensuring institutional data is safe.

 “Consumers are increasingly adopting digital technology, the data generated creates both an opportunity for enterprises to improve customer engagement and a responsibility to keep it safe. The new guidelines provide a robust system to fight against cyber security threats, breach of privacy and other information security measures to ensure that Confidentiality, Integrity and Authenticity (CIA) of information is maintained during the creation, usage, storage and transfer of information,” says Lt Col (Rtd.) Bernard Njiraini, Managing Director, KEBS.

The standards also stipulate a framework for ensuring privacy in information and communication technology (ICT) systems that store and process personally identifiable information (PII). The World Economic Forum Report 2017 places technology threats in the top 5 societal and economic risks by likelihood and scale of impact, next to weapons of mass destruction.

The public sector continues to dominate as the primary target of cyberattacks followed by the financial services. Globally, 40% of SMEs that experience data breach due to cyber security attacks are likely to close within a year. The new standards will be used by auditors, managers and management teams, trainers and assessors in the ICT.

Two weeks ago, the regulator similarly approved two new standards on management practices in a bid to enhance resilience and continuity among businesses dealing with Covid-19 protocols.  Kenya Standards KS ISO 22301:2019 and KS ISO 22392:2020 aim to enhance organisations’ ability to recognise disruptive changes in an environment and adjust to them.

“These standards will help organisations recognise the opportunities and threats that arise from both sudden or gradual internal as well as external changes and react to them as has been the case with COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr. Njiriani said then.

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