As organisations continue to become more digitised, throughout 2023 Africa remains one of the world regions most targeted by cybercrime. At a recent press conference in Johannesburg, Kaspersky shared some insights and statistics related to the regional threat landscape in the third quarter of 2023 and made forecasts on how the situation is going to develop in 2024.
According to a recent Kaspersky Business Digitisation survey¹, 78% of companies in South Africa feature a high level of digitisation. This simplifies work processes and makes business more efficient. However, there are significant challenges that accompany this, including increased cybersecurity risks: almost half (45%) of the respondents from South Africa indicated their company has experienced a cybersecurity incident in the last 24 months.
As part of the Africa Cyber Defense Forum (ACDF), Kaspersky has today announced the opening of its first Transparency Center in the African region. The new center, located in Kigali, Rwanda, is opening as part of Kaspersky’s Global Transparency Initiative, established to highlight the reliability of the company's solutions and advocate for greater transparency throughout the cybersecurity industry. The new center offers its visitors a comprehensive overview of Kaspersky's engineering and data processing practices, and a live demonstration of the source code for its products and services.
According to the results of the recent Kaspersky Business Digitisation survey that was conducted in the Middle East, Turkiye, and Africa region, 44% of employees surveyed in South Africa are afraid of drone spying. Corporate spies and hackers use drones to get trade secrets, confidential information, and other sensitive data from corporations and data centers. A drone can carry a device for hacking into corporate networks – for instance, a smartphone, a compact computer (e.g., Raspberry Pi), or a signal interceptor (e.g., Wi-Fi Pineapple¹), and hackers use these devices to access corporate data and disrupt communications. All wireless communication (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID, etc.) is vulnerable to drone attacks.
The increasing reliance on digital infrastructure makes critical sectors like utilities more susceptible to cyberthreats. This concern has been highlighted by Kaspersky's recent discovery of a new SystemBC variant that has targeted a South African nation's critical infrastructure. This backdoor was found alongside Cobalt Strike beacons which are reminiscent of the 2021 Darkside Colonial Pipeline incident. Furthermore, Kaspersky research shows that malware was detected and blocked on 29,1% of Industrial Control System (ICS) computers in South Africa, in the first half of 2023. Looking more broadly at the continent, Africa sits in first place among other regions with the highest number of industrial systems under attack in H1 2023, where attacks were detected on 40,3% of ICS computers, with the energy sector being the top industry under attack (45,9%).
Kaspersky released a new report on mobile cyberthreat dynamics in Q2 2023, which indicates that threats for mobile devices are growing. While users increasingly rely on their mobile devices to share personal data and connect to corporate networks, the number of mobile threat detections particularly in the Middle East, Turkiye, and Africa region increased by 5% in Q2 2023 compared to Q2 2022. All these threats were blocked by Kaspersky mobile solutions.
Globally, malicious objects of all types were detected and blocked on 34% of Industrial Control System (ICS) related computers in the first half of 2023, according to the ICS CERT landscape report by Kaspersky. In Africa over this period attacks were detected on 40,3% of OT-related computers, placing it in the first place among the other regions.
According to a new Kaspersky survey¹, 51% of employees surveyed in South Africa feel the need for better digital skills in their work with computers and other digital equipment. Over a third (35%) are afraid of losing their jobs because of the lack of IT competencies. Some believe it could happen as soon as in the next 5 years (16%), others suppose it might happen at some point later (19%). Only 20% are sure they are not at risk of losing their job because of poor IT knowledge.
Kaspersky has announced the appointment of Andrew Voges as the new General Manager for Africa. Given the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the rise in ransomware attacks and the need for protection of IT assets in the continent, Voges’ immediate objectives will be to accelerate growth in the enterprise segment, consolidate Kaspersky's channel presence, formulate strategies to onboard more partners and customers within the B2B framework, and strengthen customer satisfaction.
According to Kaspersky research*, the majority (61,3%) of employees surveyed in South Africa believe that the Metaverse is the future of Internet and will revolutionise entire industries. Only few were skeptical of the Metaverse and thought that it is a trend that will pass (21,5%). Many employees said their companies already have projects related to the Metaverse (18,8%) or have specific plans for such projects (50,8%). However, traversing to the Metaverse comes with new cybersecurity challenges.