A United Kingdom-based cybersecurity consultant, Mr. Remi Afon has adduced possible reasons why cybercrime is increasing at a more rapid rate in Africa than any other area of the world as indicated by Symantec, a provider of cybersecurity software and services.
Afon, who was speaking today as a guest speaker at the QuarterCom Webinar, organized by CyberinAfrica, stated that it is estimated that 80 percent of computers on the African continents are infected with malware with Nigeria being the largest target and source of malicious internet activities.
“With cybercrime shifting its attention towards emerging economies and with Africa’s internet penetration about to double to one billion internet users by 2022, the African continent has become an attractive target for cybercrime,” he said in his presentation.
Mr. Afon, who is also the President of the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), a not for profit group of professionals in the field of Information Security in Nigeria also disclosed that South Africa (80%) has the 3rd highest number of cybercrime victims in the world, after Russia (92%) and China (84 %).
He argued that 70 percent of South Africans have experienced some form of online crime – compared to 50 percent globally, explaining that if cyber-crime was a nation, it would have been 27th biggest in terms of GDP, and cost the global economy $445 billion a year.
He also identified the lack of qualified cybersecurity professionals, low investment in cybersecurity and outsourcing of cybersecurity needs by financial institutions, which he puts at 55 percent as reasons why African banks are vulnerable to cyberattacks.
To effectively combat the vulnerability, Afon suggested some counter measures, which include training of employees on how to identify phishing attempts and signs of BEC; testing the effectiveness of the training by performing social engineering tests on a regular basis; measuring the results of the social engineering tests over time to both track improvement metrics and identify employees who require more training.