The Computer Society of Kenya

Since 1986

Generative AI: How to protect firms in evolving landscape


Monday April 08, 2024

An inflexible rule of technology is that any tool that can be put to good use can also be put to nefarious use, and never has this been truer than with Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Generative (Gen)-AI, a subset of artificial intelligence, comprises of technology systems that can produce new content, such as images, text, music, audio, and even code, based on patterns and data inputs. Whereas traditional AI models rely on explicit instructions, Gen-AI employs algorithms to generate content autonomously, often mimicking human-like creativity and intuition.

The transformative impact of this technology has been immense for a large number of organisations with McKinsey predicting that the economic potential of Gen-AI could add between $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion in global corporate profits annually. Its ability to enhance creativity by generating new and original content enables businesses to explore innovative ideas and creative solutions.


Artificial intelligence opens new frontier in cyberdefence


Tuesday March 20 2024

Over the past few years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has completely changed the battleground for both cybercriminals and defenders. While nefarious actors have found increasingly inventive ways to put AI to use, new research shows that AI is modifying the abilities of security teams, transforming them into ‘super defenders’ that are faster and more effective.

The latest research shows that, regardless of their expertise level, security analysts are around 44 percent more accurate and 26 percent faster when using Copilot for Security. This is good news for IT teams at firms across the continent who are up against rising insidious threats.

Deepfakes alone increased tenfold over the past year, with the Sumsub Identity Fraud Report showing that the highest number of attacks were recorded in African countries such as South Africa and Nigeria.

Such attacks can have drastic financial implications for unsuspecting businesses. Recently, an employee at a multinational firm was scammed into paying $25 million (Sh3.25 billion) to a cybercriminal who used Deepfake to pose as a coworker at a video conference call.


The importance of API security in the age of digital transformation


Digital transformation has become a key driver for companies in the financial services sector to create and capture value. At the heart of this transformation is the increased adoption of APIs [application programming interfaces].

APIs are software intermediaries that allow two different applications to communicate with each other. Every time you use a rideshare app like Uber, send a mobile payment or check your bank balance from your phone, you’re using an API.

However, as the usage of APIs increases, so does the risk of cyberattacks. Hackers are targeting APIs due to their valuable data and functionality, lack of proper security measures, integration complexity, third-party risks, and skills gap. APIs often provide access to sensitive data and critical business functionalities. They can expose customer information, financial data, and even allow the execution of actions with significant consequences.


Bet on enterprises as AI race first movers


Transformative technologies often begin as playthings —toys and tools that a few people experiment with to discover novel uses. However, for these technologies to gain widespread adoption, they must unlock better utility and become part of the mainstream.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is firmly on its way to achieving this. From basic real-time image manipulation user experiences that led to popular mobile apps like Prisma to smart assistants like Microsoft’s Co-pilot and Google’s Gemini, embedded in productivity apps and platforms like GitHub. There are moonshot implementations like self-driving cars and bespoke medicine, but the depth of AI's utility here is arguably not yet fully democratised.

The fourth edition of the National Digital Summit, titled ‘Synergies in Digital Transformation and AI’, was a meeting point for technology leaders, C-suite executives, academia, and vendors looking to explore the pace and value of digital transformation and the role of AI in the extended tech toolkit.


Kenya moves to regulate Bitcoin trade on grey listing risk


Monday February 19,2024

Kenya is working on new regulations to police trading in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin on growing fears that the increased transactions in virtual assets in the country could increase risks of money laundering and terrorism financing.

A technical working group set up to advise the Treasury on cryptocurrency is currently preparing the draft regulations to be forwarded to the Cabinet for adoption, marking one of the key interventions in addressing weaknesses in its financial system.

“Right now, there is a sectoral working group that is working on developing a policy document to guide on developing a legal framework which will prescribe what needs to be done and who will be the regulator for digital assets providers,” said the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) director-general, Saitoti Maika.

“Probably, we may end up with a stand-alone regulator for virtual assets. We can’t bury our heads in the sand. The more we fail to regulate, the more we risk being punished.”


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