Africa lost USD3.5bn to cybercrime last year with ransom ware and fake news being weapons of choice

Early this year, French newspaper Le Monde, reported that China spied on the servers at the African Union’s Chinese-built headquarters for more than five years.

This is according to the 2017 Africa Cyber Security Report by Serianu Limited that indicates that banks and financial services firms are the most targeted institutions.

The latest Africa Cyber Security Report indicates that the number of threats and data breaches increased with clear evidence that home grown cyber criminals are becoming more skilled and targeted.

The security firm says this is because 90 percent of African organizations operate below the cyber security poverty line.

Cases of cyber bullying have also hit an all-time peak according to the report.

2017 was a particularly tough year for local organizations with respect to cyber security.

Early this year, French newspaper Le Monde, reported that China spied on the servers at the African Union’s Chinese-built headquarters for more than five years, gaining access to confidential information in the process.

Kenya, which has one of the most tech savvy populations on the continent, was not spared either.

The country lost Sh21 billion ($210m) to cybercrime in 2017 forcing the country’s top military brass to step in and try to secure Kenya’s cyber space.

Speaking on Tuesday during the release of the Serianu 2017 state of cyber security report, Defense Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said the Kenya Defense Forces and other security agencies have joined forces to help in developing cyber security defenses.

The cyber security report indicates that even though banks and financial services firms are the most targeted institutions, fake news and ransonware are the new forms of cyber-attacks.

The report indicates that Kenyans lost 6.3 billion ($63m) shillings to hackers using ransonmware to fleece individuals and small and medium sized institutions.

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