Malware Attacks In Africa Reach 85 Million In 6 Months

Even though the scourge of malware has always been of concern, the past 12-months have highlighted how hackers are refocusing their efforts to compromise consumer and corporate systems and gain access to critical data and information

ACCORDING to research done by Kaspersky, malware is rife across Africa with various countries exhibiting strong growth in all malware types in the first half of 2021 when compared to the same period last year.

This is a 5 percent increase in the region, as cybercriminals and hackers continue to focus on African countries considering digital transformation advancements and the increase in remote working resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

Even though the scourge of malware has always been of concern, the past 12-months have highlighted how hackers are refocusing their efforts to compromise consumer and corporate systems and gain access to critical data and information.

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 a 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,’ adds Opil.

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