Cyber threats and attacks grows exponentially in Africa

Posted on April 5, 2014 09:41 pm

Cyber crimes are committed by crooks, states, criminal organizations, terrorists or individual hackers for political, economic or ideological means, often to put pressure on adversaries, whether other companies, governments or rival organizations. Being the poorest continent in the world has not stopped African population embracing the Internet in a short period of time and now it has become an integral part of Africa’s society. However as governments and businesses grow increasingly dependent on online connectivity to deliver their services and reach out to unreached markets and population, the risk of cyber threats and attacks have grown to alarming levels. Africa is lowest ranked as the source of hacking-related traffic in the world but the trend is changing very fast. The continent reportedly accounted for more than 10 percent of hacking-related traffic worldwide monitored in the second half of last year, up from 2 percent earlier in 2012. African countries have or are highly developing Internet infrastructure and are offering to play a helping role. Cyber security has become an important focus for development and what African countries need help and knowledge as well as experience to tackle the escalating crime.

The continent needs to build strategic guidelines and a long process to build a maximum understanding of cyber issues. Governments and businesses should gang up in fight against prevalent cyber crime. Researchers have conclusively made it clear that maintaining and improving the capabilities of businesses and various organizations in fight against cyber crooks guarantees security. That can only be done by detecting and preventing cyber threats as well as disruptions that could jeopardize the function of a society. Facilitating cooperation between security agencies and businesses will strengthen domestic cyber security measures through effective participation by relevant organizations. African countries need to address the cyber crime related challenges by reaching out to all levels from company level, individual level, governmental agencies and cooperation among countries from regional to international levels. To optimize cyber security measures, governments would need to work closely with private sector. There is need for law enforcement institutions to build their competence in addressing and preventing cyber crimes. Every African country has different challenges when it comes to this problem of cyber crime. So one of the challenges is to tackle it individually but there should be continental agreement on how best to minimize the crime.

Contador Harrison