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Africa Escalating Phishing & Compromised Password Cyberattacks: Cyberattacks targeting organizations in African nations have witnessed a significant rise in 2022, despite efforts to strengthen cybersecurity measures during the cloud and digital migration.
Phishing and compromised passwords were identified as the top methods of attack.
This article highlights the reasons behind the increased targeting of African countries and emphasizes the importance of a proactive approach to cybersecurity.
Key Takeaways to Africa Escalating Phishing & Compromised Password Cyberattacks:
- Cyberattacks against businesses in Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia have increased in 2022, with phishing and compromised passwords being the primary methods of attack.
- Emerging economies in Africa are attractive targets for cybercriminals due to the potential financial gains from activities like data theft, ransomware attacks, and financial fraud.
- While investing in cybersecurity measures is essential, it does not guarantee protection against evolving cyber threats. A proactive approach that includes threat intelligence, regular updates, employee awareness, and robust security measures is crucial.
Rising Cyberattacks in African Nations
Cyberattacks targeting organizations in African nations have witnessed a significant increase in 2022.
Kenyan businesses reported an 82% surge in attacks, while South African and Zambian businesses experienced a 62% increase each.
Phishing or spam attacks accounted for 61% of the attacks, followed by 48% of incidents involving compromised passwords.
Factors Behind Targeting African Nation
The targeting of Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia can be attributed to their status as emerging economies with growing business sectors.
Cybercriminals view these countries as attractive targets due to the potential financial gains from various cybercrime activities like data theft, ransomware attacks, and financial fraud.
The emerging economy aspect adds to the attractiveness for ransomware-as-a-service groups seeking to avoid US-based retaliation.
Increasing Cybersecurity Hiring
Despite the rising cyber threats, organizations in Africa face a shortage of certified cybersecurity professionals, with a growing gap of 100,000 individuals, according to the Liquid C2 report.
Nevertheless, 68% of respondents mentioned that they had made progress in their cloud and digital strategies and had hired or engaged cybersecurity staff members in the past year. Kenya had the highest percentage at 82%, followed by South Africa (63%) and Zambia (62%).
The Need for a Proactive Approach
Merely investing in cybersecurity measures does not guarantee protection against evolving cyber threats. Cybercriminals continually adapt their tactics, making it challenging for businesses to stay ahead.
Adopting a proactive approach that incorporates threat intelligence-powered cybersecurity and regular updates to defenses is crucial.
It is essential to implement robust security measures, raise employee awareness about common attack vectors, regularly update software and systems, conduct vulnerability assessments, and respond promptly to security incidents.
Balancing Cybersecurity Hiring
While increasing cybersecurity staff is important, it may inadvertently draw attention from malicious actors who see it as a challenge or an opportunity to demonstrate their skills.
However, the benefits of augmenting the cybersecurity team outweigh the risks. Augmented teams can significantly mitigate the impact of cyberattacks on businesses.
The ultimate goal should be to minimize the occurrence of attacks and strive for a state where they have no impact whatsoever.
Conclusion on Africa Escalating Phishing & Compromised Password Cyberattacks
African nations are facing an escalating wave of cyberattacks, primarily through phishing and compromised passwords.
The targeting of emerging economies in Africa highlights the potential financial gains for cybercriminals. To mitigate the risks, organizations should adopt a proactive approach to cybersecurity, combining robust security measures, employee awareness, regular updates, vulnerability assessments, and prompt incident response.
While increasing cybersecurity hiring is crucial, a multi-layered approach should be implemented to achieve effective protection against cyber threats.