Cybersecurity Trends in Africa

Goals

To provide additional sources and data points that substantiate the trends in the African cybersecurity space provided in the attached document, with a particular focus on Nigeria and Ghana. This information will be used in building a case for a new cybersecurity technology firm in Africa.

Early Findings

From the document provided to us, the trends in cybersecurity in Africa include:
  • Increase of cyberattacks as Africa is a key target for cybercriminals.
  • Low level of awareness of cyber threats in all sectors including government and business community.
  • Increasing sophistication of online scams.
  • Inadequate cybersecurity programs.

Increase of Cyberattacks in Africa

  • From the Africa Cyber Security Report 2017, the estimated cost of cybercrime in Africa is $3.5 billion annually. Other sources provide an estimated cost of $4 billion every year.
  • In Ghana, the cost was $54 million and in Nigeria, it was $649 million in 2017.
  • Cyber threats and data breaches in the continent have increased as "homegrown cybercriminals are becoming more skilled and targeted."
  • A cited 2013 Symantec report found that cybercrime "is increasing at a more rapid rate in Africa than in any other area of the world." For example in 2012, the number of targeted cyber attacks in Africa increased by 42%.
  • A 2010 report found that an estimated that 80% of personal computers in Africa were "infected with viruses and other malicious software."
  • According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), "in major African cities, such as Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi, the rate of cyber connected disturbances, such as fraudulent financial transactions and child kidnappings, especially in Kenya, facilitated through Internet communications doubled" between 2011 and 2014.
  • Also, UNECA provides that "Nigeria is the largest target and source of malicious Internet activities, the consequences of which are unfortunately spilling into the other countries in the West African sub-region."
  • According to a report released by The African Union Commission and Symantec, Africa could be viewed as a more "permissive environment for cybercriminals "due to several reasons including "absence of relevant legislation and general lack of awareness of cybersecurity measures."
  • "According to Business Software Alliance, two countries with the world’s highest software piracy rates in 2017 were from Africa: Libya and Zimbabwe. The proportions of unlicensed software in the two countries were 90% and 89% respectively."

Summary of Findings

In this first hour of research, we provided insights on one of the trends outlined in the provided document. Further research is suggested in order to provide similar information, data, and statistics on the other trends.

Proposed next steps:

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