The African Cyberthreat Assessment Report 2021, provides a useful glimpse about the prevalence of cybercrime in Africa. The report can be a useful artefact for risk managers and investors, operating regionally or internationally, who may have an agenda in managing their operational risk or de-risking their investment.
The Interpol report quotes that cybercrimes affect all countries, but weak networks and security make countries in Africa particularly vulnerable. While Africa has an estimated 500 million Internet users, this equates to just 38 per cent of the population, leaving huge potential for growth. Africa has the fastest growing telephone and Internet networks in the world, and makes the widest use of mobile banking services. This digital demand, coupled with a lack of cybersecurity policies and standards, exposes online services to major risks. As African countries move to incorporate digital infrastructure into all aspects of society – including government, banking, business and critical infrastructure – it is crucial to put a robust cybersecurity framework into place.
According to the report, the top five threats in Africa are, online scams, digital extortion, business email compromise, ransomware and botnets – networks of compromised machines used to automate large-scale cyber attacks.
Estimates provided by the Global Cyber Alliance and Kenyan cybersecurity specialists ‘Serianu‘ indicate that cybercrime may be costing Africa between $3 billion to $4 billion annually.
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