Organisations and users in Kenya and South Africa are more prone to cyberthreats, a 2021 report by global cybersecurity and digital privacy company Kaspersky indicates.
According to Kaspersky, Kenya faced 32.8 million cyberthreats in the first half of the year with South Africa closing trailing with 31.5 million. Nigeria, the populous country in Africa, recorded only 16.7 million cyberthreats during the period.
The three countries recorded significant annual growth in the number of threats targeting companies and users when compared to the same period last year. Kaspersky recorded a 24.6% increase in Nigeria, followed by South Africa with 16.6% and Kenya with a 15.9% increase respectively.
Kaspersky’s Head of Research Centre, Global Research & Analysis Team, Middle East, Turkey and Africa Amin Hasbini said the increased attacks portrayed how significant the danger has become to organisations and users in the connected world.
“Threats can be categorised as criminal (80% of attacks), targeted (19.9%), and advanced (0.01%). The advanced grouping is significantly more sophisticated and feature increased investment from attack groups. Unfortunately, both criminal and targeted threat vectors learn from the advanced category to enhance their own attack techniques,” he said.
Hasbini stated that “the most threatened industries common across these three countries are government and telecommunications, with diplomatic, education, and healthcare also being the cause for concern”. He also explained that large service-oriented organisations such as telecommunications are being targeted because of the services they provide to high-profile companies. “Threat attacks are using these as platforms to gain access to other businesses,”
The cybersecurity company warned Africa to brace for more attacks as the growth of 5G network in the continent would expose more people and users to hackers.
“The growth of 5G across Africa means hackers have a new platform to exploit. As people and companies rely more on technology, the number of threats will continue to increase. People must accept the risks of living a connected lifestyle and embrace the technology and tools available to safeguard themselves,” he said.
Whereas cybercrimes affect all countries, African nations are more susceptible because of weak networks and security. According to the African Cyberthreat Assessment Report 2021, the top five cybercrimes’ threats to Africa include online scams, digital extortion, business email compromise, ransomware and botnets.