Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky has projected an increase in cybercrime in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and other nations in Africa in 2021.
In a report, the company said that the economic hardship brought about by the pandemic has fueled a rise in the level of unemployment on the continent and will spark an increase in cybercrime.
An advisor for the company in Africa on cybersecurity, Lehan van der Heever, said that although the pandemic hit many countries hard, developing countries like African nations have been especially hit hard.
Heever stated, “Even though every country globally has had to deal with the pandemic in its own way, developing economies across Africa have been especially hard hit by national lockdowns and limited business activity. Thanks to the increased connectedness of people, the rise in unemployment will not only see a spike in traditional crime, but this will also extend to the digital environment, which is something we are already seeing.
“Our researchers anticipate that in 2021, across the globe though where Africa is not immune, there will be a change in threat actors’ approach to the execution of APT attacks and as such, organisations must pay special attention to generic malware as it will likely be used to deploy more sophisticated threats.
“Businesses are under pressure to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market as they struggle to survive these trying times, amplified further by the effects of COVID-19. The current landscape may likely lead to bankruptcy and an increase in legal disputes in court.
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“This makes an ideal breeding ground for these malicious groups to operate in. And although such activity has not been rife in Africa yet, the region is not immune to this cyber threat.
“More companies are exposing their systems online while their focus turns to always-on availability. However, few of them have considered how to adapt their cybersecurity controls to this new environment. This results in some databases and systems inevitably being left open to intruders.
“This year is going to be a watershed for cybersecurity as organisations start realising the importance of having an integrated and threat intelligent approach to safeguard their systems and data against increasingly sophisticated threat agents.”