With Africa experiencing the highest incidents of cyberattacks in the world last year, according to the Check Point Software 2022 Security Report, organisations and consumers must become more aware of the threats they face in the digital landscape
1. Cyberattacks hit 1450 per week
Check Point Research has signaled an increase in cyberattacks targeting the government, insurance, and finance sectors in South Africa and other African countries. On average, there have been more than 1,450 attacks per week in the country. This trend will likely continue over the coming months as more threats start coming from cloud and mobile platforms. Threat actors will not limit their focus to South Africa and will potentially target countries across the continent.
2. Emergence of supply chain attacks
The rapid adoption of the cloud in Africa has seen increase in supply chain attacks with breaches occurring in the Okta cloud-based identity management platform. Check Point anticipates that these supply chain attacks will continue through 2023 with a significant amount of risk coming from the open-source community. Typically, suppliers relying on these open-source systems have not properly vetted them or have been lax in managing these environments, resulting in cybersecurity weak points emerging. South Africa and Kenya have become key targets around the cloud. In both countries, many companies are moving workloads to the cloud.
3. Remote workforce vulnerabilities
Remote workings forced many organizations to bank on collaboration of services and applications on several platforms. Many businesses across southern and eastern Africa still allow their staff to access corporate information on mobile devices without ensuring that enhanced security has been implemented. Top malware families like Hiddad will continue to gain access to Android-based mobile devices, repackaging legitimate apps, and distributing them to third-party stores. These apps facilitate access to key security features built-in the operating system. Even more malware alternatives will come to prominence in 2023.
4. Malware disruptions
Major malware families like Emotet (Botnet), Nanocore (RAT), and Qbot (Trojan) are expected to cause major disruptions on the continent. This will require organizations to place emphasis on security controls with a threat prevention approach across all their platforms. Doing so will strengthen their defenses against ransomware and supply chain threats. Globally, ransomware was the number one threat in 2022. Uncertainty across the various African economies around service delivery and critical infrastructure will likely see more countries face cyberattacks targeting the government. To mitigate against this risk, both public and private sectors must embrace a robust architecture that provides uncompromised security and unparalleled operational efficiency.
The availability of more advanced technology means organizations can strengthen their defensive stances. For instance, Kenyan businesses have embraced the Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) approaches. These combine both the network system and security measures to enable organizations to manage both the network and network security together. It has become common for employees to connect to a company’s systems via a VPN from home or a co-working space, and use services provided in the cloud to carry out their work. With workplace and data asset locations diversifying, it has become more difficult for a company’s IT department to manage everything under a unified security policy. ZTNA and SASE bring network services and security services together, making it possible to maintain security without getting in the way of employee work.
6. Increased attack velocity
The cyberthreat landscape in the coming months will put pressure on companies across Africa and the rest of the world. With the growth in adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning, attack vectors will increase in ferocity. Organizations and consumers must embrace a comprehensive cybersecurity approach to ensure their environments are kept safe. There is simply no respite from ransomware and increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. This puts users under increasing pressure to keep up to date with the latest trends in the threat landscape. We know that these criminals are continually evolving in how they develop and perpetrate attacks. With smaller, more agile malicious groups looking to exploit any potential weak points in company and end user defenses, people cannot afford to not take cybersecurity seriously.
7. Automotive hacking is on the rise
Modern automobiles are equipped with automated software that provides smooth connectivity for drivers in areas such as cruise control, engine timing, door locking, airbags, and advanced driver aid systems. The use of microphones and other gadgets for eavesdropping and obtaining control of the car is expected to rise in 2023 as more driverless vehicles hit the road.
8. The new target is mobile
In 2019, cybersecurity trends predicted a significant increase in mobile banking malware or assaults, making our mobile devices a target for hackers. This has come to pass. Individuals are more at risk from all of our images, financial transactions, emails, and communications. A smartphone virus or malware may be the focus of cybersecurity developments in 2023.
9. Data breach a high-priority target
Data will continue to be a source of concern for businesses worldwide. For individuals or corporations, securing digital data is a major issue. Hackers might exploit any small flaw or fault in your system browser or software to gain access to personal information.
10. Threats from within
Human error is one of the most prevalent reasons for data breaches. A single bad day or purposeful flaw may bring an entire corporation down, resulting in millions of dollars in stolen data. Hence, make sure that staff are aware of the need to secure data in every way possible.