The Sunday News
Njabulo Bhebe, Business reporter
AN expert in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) says there is a need for online digital users to adhere to stipulated measures to ensure security when using online platforms in conducting business meetings.
This follows the distraction of the virtual meeting hosted by the Meteorological Services Department National Climate Outlook Forum in which hackers, hacked and started posting disturbing material which resulted in the ending of the meeting last week.
Responding to questions from Sunday News Business, Dandemutande chief executive officer Mr Never Ncube said there was a need for responsible stakeholders to adhere to set protocols by software developers to ensure their businesses were conducted in a conducive environment free from hackers.
“Hackers can be very disruptive during meetings, and potentially cause a lot of damage. There are some tools which have been developed by Zoom which can help to prevent hacking. One of them is to turn on your waiting room. This feature provides a virtual waiting room for your attendees and allows you to admit individual participants into your meeting at your discretion. This way you can prevent entry of any suspicious usernames which you may not have knowledge of,” he said.
Mr Ncube said when setting up a meeting or webinar there is an option to require registration for attendees. He said this would only allow registered users to attend the meeting.
“Furthermore, you can restrict users from specific domains. It is also vital to master the Zoom Security Menu. Zoom now puts all your essential security options in a single button. Under this menu you will be able to lock your meeting and prevent any new participants from joining. You can also request a passcode from attendees to join. You can take meeting security even further by requiring a passcode to join your meetings. This feature can be applied to both your Personal Meeting Identity so that only those with the passcode will be able to reach you. The use of encrypted services where possible and use of passwords for all online meetings is key,” he said.
Mr Ncube said there was a need of expediting the Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill by the Government as it will go a long way in ensuring transparency and enhance confidence in the ICT sector.
“At a national level, we need to acknowledge the steps the Government of Zimbabwe has made with the Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill, which was formulated in 2019. Potraz has also been established as the Cyber Security Centre and Data Protection Authority. This is certainly a step in the right direction. However, this bill must still go through debate in parliament before it can be adopted or rejected.”
Furthermore, he challenged companies to have laid down protocols which ensured companies an upper hand in the flow of information under circulation in their premises.
“As more and more organisations undergo digital transformation, cybersecurity challenges underpin many of the decision-making processes. Security concerns are frequently more of an afterthought. Instead, companies should be having security conversations right from the start. Any cyber-attack can be fatal and costly due to data exposure and in some cases data loss.”
He said the risk for a data breach in an organisation of any size has become increasingly higher.
“As a step further, companies should establish cyber security policies internally as well as intensify training and awareness. In line with transparency, another hurdle many organisations must overcome is how to match cybersecurity with rapid growth. As companies scale, it becomes harder to manage the joiners-and-leavers process. A small company may have 100 employees, each of whom has 100 cloud accounts. That means managing 100 accounts.”
Following the announcement of the national lockdown end of March by Government many businesses have adopted the use of digital platforms in carrying their daily business routines and this has seen an increase in ICT users. Speaking on the level of security which ICT companies in the country had adopted in the wake of the new normal, Mr Ncube said his company had adopted a security framework which ensured users received the much-needed privacy.
“As Dandemutande we have laid down a cyber security framework with strategic partners across the globe who specialise in Cyber Security research. As part of the suite of services we offer, we have Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Testing which are also a good framework to test how secure your business is. Further to this we offer Cyber Security Awareness Training and a 24/7 support centre for various organisations.”