INCREASED public and private sector collaboration is required in creating a secure digital environment for the sustenance of business investments and consumer protection, Information Communication Technology (ICT), Postal and Courier Services Minister, Kazembe Kazembe, said yesterday.
In a keynote address delivered on his behalf by his deputy, Dr Jerifan Muswere, during a cyber-security conference in Bulawayo, Minister Kazembe said tackling digital security threats was critical for Government at a time the country is embracing emerging technologies in keeping with global trends.
“As we embrace digitisation of Government, economy and society, we should guarantee a trusted digital environment. This will ensure that digital services and online businesses are secure and online users are safe from cyber-attacks,” said Minister Kazembe.
“If we want to succeed in our digital transformation, we should think of security first. Hence, cyber-security cannot be an afterthought in the endeavour to digitisation because it is an integral component of digital experience.”
The minister called on every stakeholder to play ball in creating a trusted digital investment climate. As such, he said the Cyber-Security Bill, which was recently approved by Cabinet, summarises the fundamental national aspirations in guaranteeing a trusted digital society. “The Bill has been approved by the Cabinet and is now waiting to be presented to the Parliament so that lawmakers deliberate on its contents for it to become law,” said Minister Kazembe. “Going forward, my Ministry will coordinate and spearhead the cyber security aspects such as promulgating and enforcing the cyber laws, with the relevant Government security bodies.”
Government has already championed the “Smart Zimbabwe 2030 Master Plan” aimed at the digitalisation of the entire economy and society at large. Minister Kazembe said significant progress has been made in developing the Master Plan with initial review report set to be presented to a relevant Cabinet committee soon. The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), in collaboration with mobile phone operator, NetOne, hosted the conference under the theme: “Emerging Technologies”.
In separate presentations delegates, who included Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister, Judith Ncube, senior Government representatives, security officers and industry executives, were agreed on the need to act with precision in tackling cyber attacks, which might frustrate economic progress. Given the wider benefits of increased network connectivity to the entire economy, Potraz director general, Dr Gift Machengete, said ensuring cyber security must be “our shared responsibility”. NetOne chief executive officer, Mr Lazarus Muchenje, also called on data service providers to play their role in “ensuring the online environment is safe and secure”.
The gathering stressed that emerging technologies must be used taking into consideration security fundamentals so as to ensure that all information remains secure in all respects.