Kenyan banking security regulation spurs growth of data centers

The Kenyan government's regulations for back up and disaster recovery plans in the banking sector has spurred growth in data centers, as businesses move to comply to new rules.

The Central Bank of Kenya has strict risk and compliance guidelines that compel banks to put in place mechanisms to guarantee business continuity in case of disaster, forcing banks to invest in data centers or to lease space within existing data centers.

Safaricom has four tier-three data centers and tier-four facility in the pipeline, Kenya Data Centers recently launched its own facility covering four floors of an ultra modern building while Equity and other banks have put up data centers to cater for internal and external demands.

"Regulatory requirements for backup and business continuity plans especially in banking have led to increase in awareness," for security said Nzioka Waita, Safaricom corporate affairs director.

Kenyan banks offer mobile-phone based and online applications, and disaster recovery has become a major concern.

"With increasing IT sophistication, the dependence on IT becomes greater -- if a bank was to suffer a hacking attack, or even a fire at its data centre, to protect the customers, it is under obligation to store data at a remote site and have a disaster recovery plan," said Francis Hook, manager, IDC East Africa.