Kenyan companies are some of the most vulnerable targets of hired hackers who seek to steal vital information and sell them to rivals, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has warned.
While Kenya witnessed a 26pc reduction in malware attacks in the first half of the year, uncertainties brought by COVID-19 are likely to exacerbate the attacks in the second half of the year.
“Human cyber threat remains rife, where Africa is not immune to the evolving techniques of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), as well as the possibilities of being a future target of hacking-for-hire threat actor groups,” said Kaspersky.
The latest data from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) indicated that between April and June this year, 13.9 million cyber threats were detected which is a 59.9pc decrease from the 34.6-million cyber threat attempts detected in the January to March quarter.
Two other leading economies, South Africa and Nigeria also witnessed a decline in malware attacks which reduced 36pc and 2.7pc respectively.
Kaspersky has noted the rise of a new technique in Africa, where hackers or cyber mercenaries are hired to carry out attacks and steal sensitive information from companies and individuals.
“The region may become a focus of these groups in the coming months and thus, businesses and entities need to have an understanding of these emerging threats, along with the threat of APTs, to be prepared and take proactive steps towards effective cybersecurity,” warns the firm.
Hackers-for-hire usually steal private data and sell it to rivals with the purpose of providing advice or insights, based on the data, to share value of a competitive advantage.
Kaspersky gives an example of a bank being targeted and its data analysed to gain an understanding of its market exposure, clients, and back-end systems which a competitor can then use to gain significant advantage.
A report by Serianu indicate that in 2018, the country lost an estimated Sh29.5 billion to cyber criminals.
The top industries under attack in Sub-Saharan Africa in first half of the year include government, education, healthcare, and military.
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