Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity company has released financial malware attacks for the first quarter of 2021, with the result showing the overall number of financial malware attacks in Nigeria has decreased in the first half of 2021 when compared to the same period in 2020,
The report disclosed that 14.4% of the 4 812 attacks recorded in the country targeted corporate users. This, according to Kaspersky is a cause for concern.
“As local businesses have continued to adjust to remote work scenarios and the rest of the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to witness cybercriminals using this to their advantage, exploiting the situation however they can. When looking at such statistics, we believe it is evident that cybercriminals are starting to focus more on targeting unsuspecting corporate users in Nigeria as a way to compromise corporate systems,” says Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Sales Manager at Kaspersky in Africa.
Bethwel Opil believes that organisations in Africa have become susceptible to financial malware as more employees work outside the relative safety of the corporate network. Meaning, the normalisation of a distributed workforce makes ensuring the protection of the personal endpoint devices of people, who need to access back-end systems to continue performing their job functions, that much more critical.
He suggested that in addition to securing these devices, cybersecurity training of employees remains a key component to defend against the growing scourge of financial malware that uses phishing techniques to target individual users.
“It is especially financial phishing that has become one of the most popular tools used by cybercriminals to make money. It does not require much investment or technical expertise from a hacker and can be propagated quickly. In most cases, successful scammers win access either to the victim’s money or data that can be sold or otherwise monetised. For any business, this points to how important it is to address one of the weakest links in the cybersecurity chain – that of the individual user. It also signifies the importance of remaining vigilant from a cybersecurity perspective, especially during difficult operating conditions,” he added.
Some of the best practices that must be employed include having employees only install applications from reliable sources, such as official app stores. Even so, they must always examine the permissions the application requests.