Cybersecurity in Africa: Collaboration with the private sector is key (Analysis)

The “Africa Day” which marks May 25th coincides with the anniversary date of the signing of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation): an opportunity to discuss the cyber security issues that arise within the continent. African.

Twenty years after the first steps of the Internet in Africa, the situation of the continent is generally quite comparable to that of other regions of the world. Connected to the global network via terrestrial cables or submarines, satellites or even drones and balloons, Africans have a rather high Internet access rate. While 25% of the population of the Southern Sahara has access, this concerns 60% of the populations of North Africa. Globally, only 50.8% of the population is connected…

Serious threats to the peace, security and stability of countries

This relative “normalization” goes hand in hand with a sharp rise in cybercrime. Exponential on a global scale, it is logically found within the African continent. The recent report produced by Interpol on African cybercrime attests to this: compromised e-mails in companies, the phishingTHE ransomwarebanking “Trojan horses”, online extortion or the “ crimeware as a service (automation of cybercrime) showed a clear leap forward, against a backdrop of the deployment of teleworking following the Covid-19 epidemic. On October 24, while hosting the Dakar Forum on Peace and Security in Africa, Senegalese President Macky Sall pointed it out: “ the excesses of digital technology today constitute one of the most serious threats to the peace, security and stability of our countries; threats all the more difficult to combat as they are diffuse and protean “. How not to believe it when we see that cyberattacks affect everyone, affecting structures as different as the Senegalese telecoms regulator, hospitals or even operators in charge of water, electricity or water distribution. ‘energy ?

According to experts, some 1,848 attacks affect Africa each week, compared to 1,164 worldwide on average. A figure that says a lot about the strategic centrality of the African continent: in the era of globalized networks, its protection is also a guarantee of that of the whole world.

Morocco: a hotspot

Among the countries most affected by attacks, Morocco appears to be a prime target for cybercriminals. The report by Interpol’s African Cybercrime Operations Bureau ranks the Kingdom as the most affected by Banking Trojans and Stealers. Morocco is also the second country most affected by ransomware of the continent… According to this document, nearly 19,000 malware detections have been made within the country, far ahead of South Africa (6,560 detections), Nigeria (5,366 detections), Cameroon (1,462 detections ) and Algeria (691 detections). The same goes for online scams and extortion, whose spams are respectively geolocated in South Africa, Morocco, Kenya and Tunisia.

We see from these figures how much Africa is at the heart of global cyberattacks. It is impossible today to consider the continent as being isolated from the rest of the planet, quite the contrary: it is one of its epicentres, and that is why it deserves all our attention.

In this context, we note that in the battle which is engaged – and now well advanced – the solutions publishers can weigh. Within this context, made all the more difficult by the fact that the legal frameworks are very disparate depending on the country, collaboration with the private sector is a key. It is thanks to it that responses can be deployed, in connection with ever more professional and adapted products and services.

By Benoît Grunemwald, cyber security expert at ESET France and French-speaking Africa

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2023-05-27 05:36:27