It is no longer news that Africa is slowly growing in terms of technology adoption and this can be attributed to the improvement in access, growing number of tech start-ups and the huge investments that are being funneled into the start-up ecosystem.
The growing threat of cybersecurity breaches can, however, no longer be ignored in Africa as many Africans are leaving themselves exposed to the whims and caprices of hackers.
Cybersecurity experts in Africa are just a handful and much information that borders about how small business owners that rely massively on technology to push their products and services, can protect themselves and avoid data breaches is still low.
The evolution of technology has seen a massive growth of disruptive technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, space colonisation, 3D printing, medical innovations, high-speed travel, robotics and blockchain technology. These technologies have greatly changed the world but it has also created loopholes that hackers are now exploiting, to wreak havoc in the digital space.
In 2017, the global WannaCry ransomware attack not only affected businesses in Europe and North America but several businesses in Africa were massively affected by what was known as ‘Crypto Worm’.
The perpetrators (hackers) used the Crypto Worm to encrypt data on computers running on the Windows operating system and when this is done, the victims were asked to make payment in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency before the encrypted data will be unlocked.
Just a few days ago, there was massive global data breach on the Twitter accounts of Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Bill Gate, Elon Musk, as well as other influencers, Hollywood actors.
Their Twitter accounts were hacked and the hackers deceived unsuspecting innocent people to part with their hard earned money by paying in Bitcoins and getting back triple the amount they paid.
It is now on record that this serial hacking campaign that totaled over $150,000, in bitcoins, is the biggest cybercrime heist ever carried out via cryptocurrency.
In its yearly report for 2020, which borders around cybersecurity predictions, Deloitte, a consulting and financial advisory outfit, predicted as follows, “The main targets for cyber-attackers, will be the cloud-based systems, user mobile devices, IoTs and Small & Medium Enterprises, as well as organisations in the non-financial sector.
“Organisations with cloud-based infrastructure will be exposed, due to misconfigured cloud-infrastructures, mobile devices will be exposed to more sophisticated phishing attacks that could convince, even, the most security-conscious individuals and lastly, SMEs will be exposed, due to their unpreparedness,” the report further reads.
The magnitude of cybersecurity attacks expected this year will indeed be unprecedented, the pressing questions are, how prepared are Africans, in terms of countering these cyber security threats? What should Africans be doing now, to avoid being attacked by cybercriminals?
Do Africans have to depend on the government for structured guidance, on cybersecurity? Do Africans need to start getting themselves equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools that will further protect their businesses?
Legislation and regulation from the government are crucial, to enable the rights of — Finish Reading on the Punch