Uganda has been ranked as the most secure cyberspace in Africa in the recently announced Global National Cyber Security Index. Previously 2nd in the 2017 ranking, the elevation to the number 1 spot is exciting news for the nation. The National Cyber Security Index is a global index which measures the preparedness of countries to prevent cyber threats and manage cyber incidents.

The increased use of Information, Communication and Technology services (ICT), electronic commerce/business is on the rise and offers great new opportunities for economic growth. Whereas this adoption of ICT is intended for good, there are malicious actors that are keen on using the same for unlawful purposes through cybercrime. This has therefore led to the emergence of new crimes. Similarly, digital information continues to grow at an exponential rate and can be stored on a device or cloud service and in different jurisdictions. Information stored in these changing media.

In line with the above, Parliament of Uganda enacted 3 (three) laws relating to the use of electronic communication in Uganda, namely: the Electronic Transactions Act, 2011 ; the Electronic Signatures Act, 2011 ; and the Computer Misuse Act, 2011 collectively known as the “Cyber Laws” which became effective on 15th April 2011. Furthermore, regulations were developed and thereafter enacted on 30th September 2013. These include the Electronic Transactions Regulations, 2013 and the Electronic Signatures Regulations, 2013. These laws are the backbone of the legal framework for the IT sector and provide for and regulate the use of electronic communications in business and in the delivery of services to the public. Additionally, NITA-U developed the National Information Security Framework (NISF) to standardize our approach to Information Security as a Nation.

The ranking as Number 1 in Africa is as a result of the above efforts in ensuring that digital transactions are carried out in a secure environment. Commenting on the development, the Executive Director, National Information Technology Authority Uganda, James Saaka, shared that ‘The ranking is a testimony to our efforts in ensuring that all digital transactions are carried out securely. Our citizens can trust that we have put in place world-class mechanisms that prevent cyber threats and manage cyber incidents, once they occur.’

The government of Uganda has put in place the National Information Security Framework which provides for minimum security outcomes every Government agency and Critical Information Infrastructure operator is required to maintain. This includes incident response and crisis management largely focused on a prevention and proactive approach. Relatedly, in a nationally coordinated approach for handling Information Security incidents, a National Computer Emergency Response Team / Coordination Centre (National CERT/CC) was established (www.cert.ug) as an organization devoted to ensuring that appropriate technology and systems management practices are used to resist attacks on networked systems and to limit damage while ensuring continuity of critical services in spite of successful attacks, accidents, or failures.

Distributed by NITA-U