The rapid growth and development of the internet and information communications technology (ICT) has delivered economic growth at an unprecedented scale and enabled seamless connectivity across all corners of the world. However, this rapid growth has introduced new vulnerabilities in cyberspace. Cyber security threats are increasing and evolving at a rapid pace as the global economy, society and governments now rely heavily on ICT networks to communicate and perform essential functions on a daily basis. In addition, cyber attackers are constantly developing new sophisticated tools and methods aimed at damaging critical infrastructure, accessing sensitive information and stealing the intellectual property of governments, organisations and individuals. With the growing use of ICT globally, cyber security threats will continue to evolve and multiply, becoming even more dangerous than they are today.
This study focuses on emerging challenges within the cyber security environment that may pose a significant threat to Kenya’s national security. Kenya has experienced remarkable growth in its ICT sector and it has positioned itself as a global ICT hub. Moreover, the Kenyan Government has underlined universal access to ICTs as a major objective of its economic blueprint, ‘Vision 2030’, in the hope of driving Kenya from a developing to a middle-income country. In this regard cyber security is of real importance to Kenya.
This study seeks to explain how the increased dependence on ICT and internet usage has exposed the Kenyan government, private sector and society to premeditated cyber security risks with possibly disastrous effects on the social, political and economic spheres of the state. The methodology employed an extensive literature survey to explain Kenya’s response to cyber security threats by analysing the various legal and policy regulatory frameworks that govern ICT and cyber security. The purpose of the study is to contribute to the wider intellectual discourse on cyber security and it is specifically aimed at enhancing Kenya’s cyber security posture, in order to prevent cyber security from becoming a major threat to its national security.