The online space has never been safe, and every other year, we receive new numbers that showcase how dangerous the digital world can be, especially for businesses.
For instance, 2021 has seen a 29% rise in cyberattacks against businesses across the world.
Specifically, in Africa, this growing threat is driven by an increase in users accessing the internet, creating a larger pool of targets for criminals, which is what we’ve witnessed in Kenya.
The country’s connected population nearly reached 22 million users in January – a figure likely to have grown as pandemic lockdowns forced many business and government services online.
Furthermore, with digital transformation being embraced across Kenya, how has cybercrime impacted local businesses?
Statistics from the Check Point Research Threat Intelligence Report for Kenya highlight how widespread the problem is. Globally, the average number of weekly attacks experienced by organizations was 870.
In comparison, Kenya’s businesses have seen 1,408 cyberattacks a week over the last six months.
That is not all: the intelligence numbers show that email is the prevailing vector for malicious-file delivery in Kenya, and it’s been the origin point for 70% of attacks over the last month.
With social engineering attacks over email on the rise, businesses must double down on efforts to drive cybersecurity awareness.
Ins the course of 2021, there has been a surge in the exploitation of vulnerable infrastructure with 69% of Kenyan organizations being affected by Remote Code Execution (RCE).
In an RCE attack, a criminal gains remote control of a device and sensitive data stored on it.
Check Point reveals that attacks affected 13% of businesses in the country.
Of the most common malware, which includes botnets and cryptominers, Check Point identified one backdoor that was responsible for the bulk of Kenyan-business cyberattacks.
Called Floxif, around 13% of local businesses were impacted by it – globally, this malware managed to infect over 2 million users in 2017, including large tech companies.
Globally, the public sector falls within the top five industries most targeted in cyber-attacks, with government and military organizations experiencing 1 229 cyber-attacks per week on average.
In Kenya, this figure is as high as 2765.
However, globally, financial institutions experience a weekly average of 760 cyber-attacks, while in Kenya, the number of attacks is slightly lower at 745.
It’s encouraging to see Kenya’s financial players are navigating security more efficiently than many of its global peers, however, the number of weekly attacks must still be lowered to ensure financial inclusion and economic stability for Kenya’s population.
It’s alarming to think that Kenyan businesses are dealing with almost 540 more weekly cyberattacks than their peers across the globe. This signals an urgent need for Kenya’s businesses to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity solutions, while focusing on companywide education on security hygiene to keep users and the business safe online.
Pankaj Bhula, Check Point’s Regional Director for Africa.