Biashara Sacco Society in Nyeri has invested in cyber security by upgrading and reinforcing its firewalls and information management system following a cyber-attack in August. Members of the sacco on the night of August 30 and 31 got a rude shock when they received text message alerts advising them to immediately withdraw their monies as the sacco was set to close down by August 31.

“Dear (customer’s name) please withdraw your money by 31-08-2019 before the sacco closes down,” read the message. The message brought shockwaves to clients who frantically started contacting the sacco management for clarity before they received another message informing them to ignore the alarming text as they were assured of the safety of their savings.

Sacco Chairman, Kamau Njamuku said measures had been taken to improve their information management system to avoid a recurrence of a similar incident that had badly exposed their vulnerability to cybercrime.

Speaking Monday in his office in Nyeri Town after a special general meeting with members on Saturday, Njamuku clarified that investigations carried out revealed that the attack originated from a malicious person outside their network. “The incident did not have any negative impact to our sacco,” stressed the chair, adding that it was a scare aimed at mudslinging the sacco’s reputation.

He said funds would be set aside in the year 2020 capital budget to put in place mitigation measures such as cyber insurance policy and addition of a mirror server as recommended by system auditors. At the same time the Chairman announced that they had embarked on an expansion plan that would see the sacco open up one branch every year. “Our plan is to open a branch or two every year with a view of having branches in all county headquarters,” said Njamuku.

He said currently the sacco has 10 branches covering five counties including Nyeri, Laikipia, Embu, Kiambu and Nairobi.

By Samuel Waititu

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