Kenya recorded 32.8 million cyber attacks in the first half of 2021, the highest number among the continent’s most targeted countries.
According to a report from Internet security group Kaspersky, South Africa followed closely with 31.8 million threats while Nigeria recorded about half the number, with 16.7 million threats.
The figures demonstrate a rise from the number of threats recorded last year during the same period when Kenya recorded the lowest percentage of attacks at 15.9. Nigeria had the highest number of threats at 24.6 percent while South Africa cam second with 16.6 percent.
The three countries recorded about 81 million attacks in total, signifying increased threats for users around the globe.
“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.” Amin Hasbini, Head of Research Centre, Global Research & Analysis Team, Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Kaspersky said.
“Unfortunately, both criminal and targeted threat vectors learn from the advanced category to enhance their own attack techniques.”
According to Habini, the report indicates that cyber attackers have developed more sophisticated techniques to circumvent security systems and data. He says they have now diversified their cast net and are now focusing on non-microsoft environments, infecting firmware and executing high-profile attacks bringing in a lot of money.
“Our research shows that the most threatened industries common across these three countries are government and telecommunications, with diplomatic, education, and healthcare also being cause for concern.”
Telecommunications companies are targeted mostly because of the services they provide to high-profile companies.
“Threat attacks are using these as platforms to gain access to other businesses,” says Hasbini.
Kaspersky further warns that with the rollout of 5G, cybercriminals are likely to take advantage of the vulnerabilities to instigate ransomware using generic mallard with increased demand for more money.
“Of course, the growth of 5G across Africa means hackers have a new platform to exploit. Furthermore, advanced threat actors will buy network access from other cybercriminals. This will also result in increased collaboration between these cybercriminals and cyber gangs as they look at more effective ways of achieving their objectives.”
“Different gangs will also start specialising in tools and other methods to better advance penetration. 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,” adds Hasbini.