Global cybersecurity company Kaspersky has suggested that economic uncertainty is set to shape the 2021 cybercrime agenda in Africa.
Not just growing economic turbulence but the impact of Covid-19 is expected to contribute to an increase in cybercrime across South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria this year, according to a new security bulletin from the company.
While the increase in these crimes will vary by country, the company says its research suggests that African nations must prepare themselves for the inevitability of increases in malware that already topped 28 million by August last year, according to its research.
The company also expects a rise, along with changes in strategy, in what are known as Advanced Persistent Threats.
The background to these increased threats is that businesses are under pressure to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market as they struggle to survive in difficult times. These issues are amplified further by the effects of Covid-19.
Compounding this, says Kaspersky, is the concern around hackers-for-hire and cyber mercenary groups targeting SMEs and financial institutions. This is something that is not yet rife in Africa, though Kaspersky insists that the region is not immune to this cyber threat.
Cyber-mercenaries are hired to search for sensitive, private information that can be used in disputes to win court rulings or to steal business trade secrets and provide competitive intelligence.
Additionally, Kaspersky believes that the normalisation of remote working will put existing organisational IT systems under more pressure as companies now must contend with an influx in connections into the corporate back end.
The company expects data breaches across Africa to increase in the coming months with many companies racing to tighten their security.