Imagine if you are a victim of cyber fraud or cyber attack or even a virus attack in Zimbabwe, where are you going to report the crime? Zimbabwe does not have a center where one can report a cyber crime and there are no laws at this moment in place to protect an ordinary citizen. It is time for the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to get a solid understanding of what cyber crimes are and setup a cyber unit at their four hundred plus police stations dotted around the country. Zimbabwe is a cashless society with ninety six percent of its transactions being executed through the cyber space meaning the criminals have now moved from the streets onto the cyberspace.
With our law enforcements not having the structures to report serious financial cyber crimes and the skills to investigate these crimes most business are not reporting cybercrimes. In Zimbabwe organizations are not compelled to report security incidents such as data breaches to regulators therefore the statistics provided are never accurate. The other reason behind the will not to report is, many organizations are faced with the simple question of “what is the point?”. In Zimbabwe it is very difficult to identify the threat actors, especially when attacks come from abroad, is notoriously difficult. Zimbabwe’s law enforcement agencies do not have the skills or the capacity to help restore cyber financial operations or prevent stolen data switching hands.
Organizations are reluctant to report serious financial cybercrimes because of the time and expense that it might require, and the perception that it is not likely to result in recovery to the business. Sometimes, the primary reason would be that the incident does not justify the time and expense of getting law enforcement involved and is better handled internally. Beyond doing nothing, some organizations may fear that getting the Zimbabwe Republic Police involved may disrupt business further as they look to investigate incidents. Most organizations do not report cyber crimes because they worry that reporting an incident will lead to it becoming public knowledge, damaging the reputation of the organization.
Above all these challenges, there is a need for Zimbabwe to have a cyber unit at all police stations which should be managed by well trained cyber police officers, equipped with the technology to fight modern day criminals. Zimbabwe need to have a cyber security helplines similar to the old emergency number 999 linked directly to all our financial institution, mobile money service provider and the central bank, RBZ to be used either to report a cyber-crime or inform of any latest cyber activities.
Zimbabwe does not need to create a wheel, they can copy and paste the USA methodology. If one is victim of cyber crime, they can file a complaint with the Internet Crime Compliant Center (IC3) on www.ic3.gov. IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). They then investigate and do all the processes required until the individual is convicted.