Cost of Cyber crime in Africa in 2017 estimated at $3.5 Billion

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The Cost of Cyber crime in Africa in 2017 was estimated at $3.5 Billion, a rise from 2016, where African countries were estimated to lose at least $2 billion in cyber attacks.

This is according to a new Africa Cybersecurity Report 2017 launched today by Serianu Limited themed Demystifying Africa’s Cyber Security Poverty Line.

The theme was borrowed from the term security poverty line, which means the point below which an organisation cannot effectively protect itself against losses to cyber attackers. The study surveyed over 700 business professionals from various businesses in ten countries across Africa.

“The 2017 Cyber security survey shockingly reveals that over 95% of African businesses are operating below the cyber security poverty line.Most of these organisations spend maximum of USD 1500 annually on cyber security technologies and services,” William Makatiani, CEO Serianu Limited.

The research is broken down into eight key areas which includes top attacks, cyber intelligence, survey analysis, home security, top trends, sector risk ranking, industry analysis and anatomy of a cyber heist.

The report also revealed that the banking sector was still the most targeted industry in Africa and Fake News hit Africa’s media streams through unverified and often conjured up news being circulated through various medium.

The report described 2017 as a tough period  for local organisations. The number if threats and data breaches increased with a clear evidence that  home grown cyber criminals were becoming more skilled and targeted.

Over 90% of parents don’t understand what measures to take to protect their children against cyber bullying and 96% cyber security incidents either go unreported or unsolved.

In Kenya, the estimated cost of cyber crime was stood at USD 210 million with the an estimated number of certified professionals being 1600. Nigeria led the pack in Africa with an estimated cost of cyber crime in 2017 being USD 649 million with the number of certified professionals standing at 1800.

“In Africa, Small and Medium Entreprises created around 80% of the continents employment which clearly shows the importance of SMEs to African economies. The lack of adequate cyber security controls in these organisations is an economic threat that entire SME sector are continually automating their processes and as result their continued dependency on technology is driving them deeper into risk,” said Makatiani.

He added that the research revealed that the most vulnerable SMEs were those in the financial services sector such as cooperatives, Saccos, micro-finance institutions, Fin-tech service providers and mobile money transfer services.

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