Cyberattacks in Africa surge, hitting 85 million in just 6 months

Cyberattacks in Africa surge, hitting 85 million in just 6 months

In Africa, malware attacks have become rife and in the first half of 2021, various countries exhibited strong growth in all malware types when compared to the same period last year.

According to research by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, Africa has seen a 5% increase in malware attacks as cybercriminals and hackers continue to focus on on the continent considering digital transformation advancements and the increase in remote working resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, 4 countries account for 85 million attacks, with South Africa being the most targeted (32 million attacks), followed by Kenya (28.3 million), Nigeria (16.7 million) and Ethiopia (8 million), notes the study.

All countries but Kenya saw the relative growth of all malware attacks. Ethiopia and Nigeria have seen an increase of 20% and 23% respectively and South Africa an increase of 14%, while Kenya’s number of attacks decreased by 13%, says the report.

Given the growth of digital transformation across Africa since last year, the continent has become an attractive target for those looking to exploit a lack of user education and cybersecurity understanding.

This has contributed to the large number of personal devices still not having any form of cybersecurity software installed,” says Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Sales Manager at Kaspersky in Africa. 

“Malware can get onto a device in several ways. For example, clicking on an infected link or advert, opening an attachment in a spam email, or downloading a compromised app. This means proactive malware protection is essential to safeguard individual users and corporates against these threats,” concludes Opil. 

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