The Effectiveness of Cyber Security Frameworks in Combating Terrorism in Zimbabwe

The Effectiveness of Cyber Security Frameworks in Combating Terrorism in Zimbabwe

Jeffrey Kurebwa, Eunice Magumise
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJCRE.2020010101
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This study investigated the effectiveness of Zimbabwe's cyber security frameworks in combating terrorism. Media reports and scholarly evidence have constantly shown that cybercrime has led to loss of life, money, security, damage to property. There is a lot of concern among citizens of African countries such as Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Nigeria that their governments are not equipped with effective cyber security systems to combat these cyber threats. It is on the basis of these concerns that this study was carried out with the hope of helping to close policy and knowledge gaps affecting the effectiveness of the cyber security frameworks of Zimbabwe. The study used qualitative methodology and a case study research design was utilised. The study was conducted in Harare the capital city of Zimbabwe. Key informant interviews and documentary search were used to collect data. Among the findings of the study were that cyber fraud and theft are some of the significant cyber security threats in Zimbabwe; that Zimbabwe lacks established legislation and other regulatory institutions for cyber-security. Among the recommendations are; that the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs enacts cyber security laws in Zimbabwe to combat cyber terrorism.
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There has been a paradoxical increase of cyber security threats that have accompanied the improvement, usefulness and sophistication of cyber domains and information technology. Mckinnon (2016) argues that the need for comprehensive cyber security measures has grown exponentially in modern day. Ibrugger (2009) suggests that in the United States of America (USA), cyber-space has become a potent instrument through which crime and terrorism are committed. Bowen and Mace (2009) report that cyber related crime and terrorism have contributed to the loss of US$46 billion worth of infrastructure, capital and other resources as well as over 5000 lives in the USA since the year 2000. Mckinnon (2016) reports that no less than 200 child pornography rings that had insidious cyber domains were apprehended in EU countries between 2000 and 2010.

Ibrugger (2009) suggests that another form of cyber threats has been that ransom ware, which is a type of malware that involves an attacker locking the victim's computer system files, typically through encryption, and demanding a payment to decrypt and unlock them. Mckinnon (2016) posits that malware has also been targeted at individuals, companies and government institutions and is whereby any file or program used to harm a computer user, such as worms, computer viruses, Trojan horses and spyware.

According to Mckinnon (2016), cyber threats in developing countries have been underreported but have been just as severe and even more devastating. Bowen and Mace (2009) posit that cyber criminals and terrorists view Africa in particular as a soft target as there has not been much investment in comprehensive cyber security measures and resources on the continent. According to Mckinnon (2016), terrorist organisations such as Boko Haram and Al Qaeda, human traffickers, cyber fraud syndicates and military insurgents have exploited the internet to inflict harm on citizens in such countries as Algeria, Burundi, Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Rwanda, and others have seen an increase in recent years. The United Nations (UN 2016) reports that the internet has been exploited in crimes and violence that has led to the loss of over 200 000 lives on the African continent between 2010 and 2015.

Mckinnon (2016), the cyber security measures in the USA and Europe are guided by well-established policy and legislation, state of the art equipment, coordination with private firms and trained personnel. However, suggests that the same cannot be said of Africa. Mckinnon (2016) posits that a robust cyber security framework requires cyber security governance and oversight; cyber security risk management programme; cyber resilience assessment; cyber security operational resilience; metrics, monitoring and reporting, and compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.

Ochab (2017) reports that only 9 out of 52 countries in Africa had by the year 2017 established a comprehensive national cyber-security framework. Ochab (2017) also reports that this is despite the fact that 44 of those countries have a considerable cyber dependency in critical infrastructure, banking, law enforcement and national defense. Elu and Price (2015) assert that a lack of robust cyber security on the African continent has led to the flourish of radical extremist terrorism in the 21st century. According to Berri (2017), the recent terror attack by al Shabaab in the port city of Barawe in southern Somalia, a suicide bomb attack by Boko Haram in Maiduguri in Niger, and an attack on a military post in Mali by an al Qaeda-linked terror group have brought the focus back on terrorism in the African continent. Berri (2017) further posits that over the years, terrorism has become the most important challenge to peace, security and development in Africa.


Literature Review And Theoretical Framework

The study is guided by the space transition theory.

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