Hackers are driven by profit motive and political intent

Posted on September 16, 2014 12:44 pm

All people of goodwill need to become part of the solution if the world is to fight and neutralise the rising threat of cybercrime.The World is suffering losses and it looks like its only getting worse. Policy making on cyber threats should allow public access to information who would then be better informed and better able to contribute their ideas about how to manage the menace. Cyber attacks are not limited to just business and financial operations, but also Government.Research has shown that attacks on Government online assets are dangerous as it could cripple a nation’s critical information network and, in turn, impact the people’s social well-being and economic development.To those who care, the statistics are quite worrying, and those in charge have to do something about it. Specific attacks continue to be a popular form of cybercrime, with governments being the primary target across the globe. Known as “Targeted attacks” such incidents where agencies, organisations and in some cases individuals are attacked for the reason of stealing confidential information,multiple studies have shown that Governments are the most targeted because of their distributed setup whereby it takes time to standardise and enforce security policies.

A research conducted in Australia last year revealed that governments hold a lot of confidential information that is valuable to attackers hence the reason for cyber attacks occurring within the public sector more than the private sector. In African countries,the commonly targeted sectors included the mining sector, gas and oil industry, manufacturing, electrical, banking and financial industries, telecommunications as well as the military. In countries like Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, Internet banking is the hotbed for malware. It’s still something that’s very serious in African countries and there is need for stakeholders to urge the public to take responsibility is ensuring they safeguard themselves against cybercrime. In most cases, online banking customers in Africa tend to neglect installing security software on their mobile devices and they don’t have security software installed on their devices, computers or other gadgets that they use to do their transactions online. In Kenya, cyber-criminals operating there tend to favour attacking users through their mobile devices due to the popularity of mobile money services, with theft involving mobile money information being common.  Businesses need to also be on the lookout for advanced persistent threats, with commonly used methods being customised target that uses social engineering, with the intent of breaking into organisation’s network. Increase in malware and change in cybercrime tactics means companies have to protect their corporate environment needs and evolve as well.

Contador Harrison