Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ISPs in Kenya move to shore up Internet security


Access Kenya, Internet Solutions and Data Services Provider, has announced deployment of a new email authentication system on their network, called Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Authentication (SMTP), aimed at securing client emails as well as enabling the clients use the mail service while abroad.

Access Kenya communication officer Kevin Keya told HumanIPO the system had been on a one-month pilot stage and following the announcement, clients would now start using the system.He added that SMTP is one of the most secure authentication systems essential for countering the threats posed by increased Internet security issues.

Clients using the service through the company’s network would be provided with unique and secure username and passwords essential for accessing servers through the authentication system. “These details have already been sent to all our clients,” said Keya.

Access Kenya has over 8,000 customers and offers corporate Internet, residential Internet and IT services in the country. This would see the company protect its clients and other users on its network from email hacking and phishing that have become a major problem facing Internet users in Africa.

Kenya in the recent months has experienced increased cyber attacks. In late January, an Indonesian hacker took down 103 government websites prompting the country’s ISPs to bolster cyber security. “Internet security remains of paramount importance and for us as the market leader in Internet Services, protecting our customers using practical solutions remains our core business,” AccessKenya Managing Director Kris Senanu said.

Senanu added that increased cyber attacks and hacking are ‘a real threat’ to national security and therefore service providers have the responsibility of protecting clients as well as collaborating with authorities to curb the menace, which has been on the rise since the arrival of the undersea fibre optic cable. According to the company’s systems engineer Sam Oduor, the SMTP system will safeguard the clients’ information through the AccessKenya network.

“Communication on this authentication system comes through a secure socket layer. This improves customer privacy since conversations cannot be intercepted,” he continued, “the service also allows clients to send emails on through AccessKenya network while abroad.” SMTP will also see the company save costs on overheads associated with support services for traveling clients.

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