What’s cybercrime’s economic impact on Africa? I agree with the line of thought that cybercrime is relentless, with the convenience of anonymity, cybercrime is perceived as worthwhile and easy to get away with. This, among other reasons, has seen Africa as a continent loose billions to cybercrime. While Africa battles poverty, poor education, food security, lack of jobs, slow economic growth among others, governments and organizations are realizing the need to create room for cybersecurity discussions.
An annual report by We Are Social and Hootsuite-leading global digital agencies – reveals that internet users across Africa have increased by over 20% in comparison to 2017. In other reports, Kenya has topped globally with an 83% in internet traffic coming from mobile phones while Nigeria runs second with 81%. Reflecting on the same trend, online purchase of products has significantly grown and sequentially exposed us to more cyberspace vulnerabilities. What economic implication does this have on our continent?
Sampling the most affected countries in the continent, the 2017 report on cybersecurity by Serianu, puts Kenya at the top of the ladder with a 21.2 billion loss through cybersecurity after Nigeria’s 65.5 billion loss. That is an indication enough that we need to take action. From financial cybercrime to reported ransomware, there is an urgency for organizations to rethink and develop cybersecurity strategies if they have none.
The report continues to detail the increase in threats and data breaches in the last year(2017) which was particularly tougher for organizations. Sadly, we still have over 90% of Kenyan organizations exposing themselves to cybersecurity risks. The banking sector seems to be the bullseye- It’s reported to be the most targeted industry in Kenya.
As key participants in the cyberspace, hosting over 14,000 clients, most of them receiving emails and running websites, we are determined to make a difference in ensuring our clients are protected and well equipped with information that might help them not to fall victims.
Making all deliberate efforts as a company to enhance cybersecurity is not even close to enough, this is just but a small percentage. We are encouraged to see Africa coming together in an effort to collaboratively tackle the challenges of cybersecurity in the upcoming Africa Cyber Defense Summit to be held in Nairobi, Kenya in early July. A united front will help cover a milestone. Such initiatives are the epitome of addressing cyber security to help protect our infrastructure. We too, in our own small way, have taken the initiative through sensitization and solution giving master classes and soon webinars and campaigns, largely targeting our clients and spreading out to other businesses, companies and SME’s. It’s important to help business owners and companies, including staff members, understand possible cyberspace vulnerabilities and pre-emptive measures.
There are several organizations doing something about cybersecurity, whether in their own small way or massively. The truth is, every person, company, team, able to make a difference should start now…And together, all our efforts will make a stronger Africa. Billions lost through cybersecurity can be saved and channelled to other needs of the continent. Look out for more information about our master classes and webinars on our social media platforms. Let’s make a difference together!