A Spotlight on Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya about Rising Cyber Threats

Discover the latest insights and findings on the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

Stay informed about the top 100 nations globally, including those in Africa, as revealed by Kaspersky’s recent cybersecurity report.

Did you know that Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya are the top three African countries facing a surge in online threats? Yes, you read that right.

According to a recent cybersecurity report from Kaspersky, these countries not only rank highly in Africa but also appear in the top 100 globally.

We are going to delve into the details of this report, exploring the nature of these cyber threats and the suggested defenses for businesses.

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Unmasking the Cyber Threat Landscape

Global Ranking of Cyber Threats
The report places Nigeria 50th globally, Kenya 35th, and South Africa 82nd in the world for online threats.

These countries face a wide range of cyber threats, from spyware and backdoor attacks to exploits.

Types of Cyber Attacks Encountered

In the first quarter of 2023 alone, South Africa registered 106,000 backdoor and spyware attack attempts.

Nigeria witnessed 46,000 of the same attack type, while in Kenya, the figure rose to an alarming 143,000.

However, exploits turned out to be the most rampant form of attack in Kenya with 177,000 incidents successfully blocked.

The Rise of Zombie Machines

A startling new trend is the growing number of ‘zombie machines’ or devices that become part of a botnet.

These include old and forgotten devices, IoT devices, network equipment, printers, cameras, and even coffee machines.

These botnets then become tools in the hands of cybercriminals.

This year alone, 1.6 million zombie machines were identified in South Africa and 300,000 in Kenya.

What’s Driving the Attacks?

The Head of the Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT) for META at Kaspersky, Dr. Amin Hasbini, outlined the key drivers of these attacks.

According to him, the main motive for these criminal activities is financial gain.

However, cybercriminals are also learning from successful advanced attacks to perfect their craft.

Threats to Different Sectors

It seems nobody is safe.

Critical infrastructure, financial institutions, government entities, and service providers are all in the crosshairs of various cyber threat actors.

Several ransomware groups have also set their sights on African targets.

Recommendations for Businesses

As the nature of these threats becomes increasingly sophisticated, Kaspersky advises businesses to adopt a multi-layered defensive strategy.

This approach includes extended detection and response (XDR) solutions, security awareness training for employees, and real-time access to intelligence on the latest attack methods.

Leveraging Advanced Technologies

Businesses are encouraged to leverage advanced technologies such as threat feeds, security information and event management systems, endpoint detection and response solutions, and digital forensics tools.

As it stands, there is no universal solution to secure a corporate network or data.

However, understanding the cyber threat landscape and adopting a proactive, multi-layered defensive strategy can significantly mitigate these threats.

After all, in the age of information, awareness is the first step to security.

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Which are the top three African countries facing cyber threats?

Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya face the most significant online threats in Africa.

What is the most common type of cyber attack in these countries?

Backdoor and spyware attacks are the most common in South Africa and Nigeria, while exploits dominate in Kenya.

What is a ‘zombie machine’?

A ‘zombie machine’ is a connected device that becomes part of a botnet, often used in cyber attacks.

What is the primary motive behind these cyber attacks?

The primary motive is financial gain, but cybercriminals are also continually adapting their tactics and tools to breach security measures.

What is a multi-layered defensive strategy in cyber security?

This strategy involves adopting extended detection and response (XDR) solutions, conducting regular security awareness training for employees, and leveraging advanced technologies for threat detection and management.

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