Cybersecurity / cybercriminality, P&T family recommend emergency plan

The recommendations were made during a sectorial workshop on cybrsecurity in Cameroon chaired by the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications on Thursday 3rd March 2022.
Personal data leakage, massive hacking of facebook accounts particularly those of top officials, identity theft, fake news, hate speeches and fabricated images all aimed at discrediting Cameroon are some of the malicious acts practiced on the internet and social media. These acts have greatly contributed to the current pravailing socio-political climate in Cameroon.
It is upon this backdrop that the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Minette Libom Li Likeng, on Thursday 3rd March, 2022, in the conference hall of the ancillary building of her ministerial department, chaired a 1 day sectorial workshop on cybersecurity in Cameroon.
The workshop which is in line with the on-going National campaign to promote the culture of cybersecurity and raise awareness on the responsible use of social media was staged under the theme, "Cybersecurity and the responsible use of social media in Cameroon: to global challenge, a global mobilisation".
According to the Director incharge of Incident Purpose Team Mr. Djoursoubo Pagou from the National Agency for Information and Commununication Technologies (NAICT), the two most practiced cybercrimes in Cameroon are scamming and phishing with 61% and 27.80% respectively. Statistics go further to point out that the principal towns where these activities are exercised are Yaounde, Douala, Molyko in Buea and Noun. Most of the perpetrators are reported to be unemployed between the age of 16 and 35.
The Director revealed that among the reasons for the rise in these illicite practices is the absence of an operational cybersecurity policy, obsolescence and absence of certain legal instruments, the quest and lure for easy gain, failure to comply with the standards and recommendations of NAICT, failure by operators to comply with the provisions relating to the identification of subscribers and terminals.
However, according to NAICT, they have not been mere spectators but active actors in the fight. 5105 fake social media accounts were detected between 2019 - 2021 and 3750 were closed, 7 facebook pages were certified in 2021 bringing the number to 49 and the fight continues.
The forum therefore was the ideal platform that brought the Posts, Telecommunications and ICT family round the table to put in place an emergency plan to tackle the rising scourge of cybercriminality and cyberdeliquency in Cameroon.
Reminding the participants of the raison-d'etre of the workshop and the parameters for its success, the Minister in her opening address said "cyber threats are security concerns that affect the entire planet and to promote and guarantee stability in cyberspace, global intervention frameworks are necessary. Also for a successful digital transformation, we must altogether coordinate our efforts for a global response to this global phenomenon that does not spare Cameroon".
Upon this call, for over 6 hours, stakeholders of the sector (MINPOSTEL, NAICT, ART, CAMTEL, CAMPOST SUP'PTIC and the 10 regional delegates of MINPOSTEL assisting online) brainstormed and ellaborated an emergency plan to combate the ill.
At the end of the fruitful echanges over well defined themes presented by experts in the domain, Minette Libom Li Likeng, noted with great satisfaction the recommendations that were made and adopted. She mentioned that these will enable the public authorities to have a real emergency plan for cybersecurity and the use of social media by cirizens in Cameroon. And as concerns MINPOSTEL, she continued, "it is a matter of reviewing the law on cybersecurity and cybercrime in cameroon in order to adapt it to the current technological developments and stepping up awareness-raising activities with the aim of fostering patriotic and civic minded behaviour on social media taking into account the just adopted roadmap".