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Financial institutions in East and Central Africa remain susceptible to major losses due to ongoing IT security threats, according to one of Tanzanias leading industry experts

Cyber Security Africa's, alliance manager, Sammy Kioko, made the comments at a media briefing ahead of the East Africa Banking and IT Security which is set to take place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 24-25 April.

Improvements to IT systems made by financial institutions and public bodies have still been overcome by criminals resulting in substantial financial losses according to a survey conducted last year in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

“The two day event will help players in the financial sectors, public agencies and other organisations to identify the technical, environmental and business risks that could lead to service vulnerability, weak consumer confidence and ultimately brand damage and serious revenue decline,” Kioko was quoted as saying by Tanzania's Daily News.

The survey revealed that threats including hacking, card skimming, the manipulation of electronic files and IT control circumvention remain significant issues.

Dr Zaipuna Yonah, director of information, communication and technology at Tanzania's Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology promised tougher cyber security laws.

“There are ongoing technical preparations for the enactment of the law expected to be finalised before the end of the year,” said Yonah, adding that the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) was suffering losses through the electronic credit payment system.

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