Why Africa has become popular for cyber crime


KnowBe4 Africa Managing Director, Anna Collard

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – PERFECT for tourists and cyber criminals.

That is how an expert has described Africa as the continent becomes a popular target for cyber fraudsters.

The assessment by Anna Collard, Senior Vice President Content Strategy & Evangelist at KnowBe4 Africa, comes as the continent has been the target of multiple cyber attacks over the past few years.

In 2022, South African retail chain Dis-Chem saw 3,6 million records exposed in a data breach, while TransUnion was held to ransom in March of the same year.

Nigeria experienced financial institution hacks while Kenya experienced a radical increase in financial phishing attacks.

The continent itself is perceived to be the most cyber-attacked on the planet.

Africa is losing around $4 billion annually (R72 billion) to cybercrime.

There are numerous obstacles that have to be overcome to shift this dynamic and make Africa a safer digital place.

“One of the key issues impacting cybersecurity safety on the continent is the lack of regulation,” Collard added.

She explained that the problem is that only 29 of Africa’s 54 countries have established national cyber security strategies.

“There has to be a far more coherent effort on the part of government and the public sector to address vulnerabilities and to embed a deeper, continent-wide commitment to security.”

A recent IDC report entitled ‘The Impact of Cyberextortion on Africa’ pointed out that IT security teams are struggling to handle the increased exploitation of vulnerabilities both inside the business and within remote working.

“Another reason why Africa has become so popular is the fact that companies have largely leapt on the digital bandwagon, with a significant number of companies planning to increase their connectivity, IoT investments and digital transformation initiatives over the next 12 months,” said Collard.

Collard said this was crucial for improving operational value, driving growth as well as increase the cybercrime attack surface.

“The number of cyber attacks made on organisations in Africa have grown alongside the gross domestic product and corporate expansion,” she said.

– CAJ News



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