Evolution of Cyber Security in Africa

1 month ago Enterprise Security

Evolution of Cyber Security in Africa

Enterprise Security Magazine |

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

The cybersecurity landscape is fluid and constantly changing. The last few years have shown a significant rise in industry-specific attacks focused on healthcare, supply chains, education, etc. This trend will likely proceed to the following year, and the industries on the weaker end of digital transformation are easy targets for cyber-attacks.

FREMONT, CA: Organisations have identified a rise in cyberattacks over the past six months that have targeted South Africa's financial, insurance, and government sectors. There have been more than 1450 attacks weekly on average throughout the nation. Given the increased number of threats coming from cloud and mobile platforms in the upcoming months, this trend is expected to persist. Threat actors might target nations all over the continent rather than just South Africa as their primary objective.

Endpoints remain a key target for knowledgeable hackers. Instead of just stealing sensitive data from endpoints, attackers are also using them as a base to launch more lucrative attacks like ransomware and business email compromise. Businesses also need to manage an increasing number of devices, such as employee-owned devices that are not connected to corporate networks and Internet of Things (IoT) devices like virtual personal assistants that require access to corporate networks, services, or databases. Endpoint management tools and endpoint protection solutions, therefore, continue to be of utmost importance.

The cybersecurity environment is dynamic and ever-evolving. Attacks targeting certain industries, such as those in healthcare, supply chains, education, etc., have significantly increased over the past few years. The industries at the weaker end of the digital transformation are easy targets for cyberattacks, and this tendency is likely to continue into the following year. In such a paradigm, solutions to identify these threats, platforms to secure and manage business devices, and other SaaS products can offer visibility, protection, and an efficient management platform to look after the variety of endpoints being deployed.

The introduction of the cloud and the subsequent migration thereto allowed businesses to establish flexible boundaries to provide clients with a more encompassing solution. This strategy is being adopted by every SaaS company to combine the benefits of several products and offers a common console for simple management. The popularity and expansion of SASE (secure access service edge) are examples of such a collaboration. SASE is a concept in cybersecurity that unifies several network connectivity and network security technologies into a single service that is provided via the cloud. By 2023, it is expected that global spending on SASE will increase by USD eight billion, which demonstrates both its worth and significance.

The availability of more sophisticated technology has enabled organisations to improve their defensive postures. For instance, Kenyan companies have adopted the SASE and zero trust network access (ZTNA) strategies. They enable organisations to manage networks and security jointly by combining the network system and security measures. Employees frequently use cloud services to complete their work by connecting to a company's systems over VPNs from their homes or coworking spaces. Diversifying workplace and data asset locations have made it more challenging for an organisation's IT staff to oversee everything under a single security policy.

Security and management software will also include AI in their current toolkits by 2023. AI has significantly facilitated automation in security systems during the past few years. For instance, AI and ML are used by intelligent threat detection systems, such as endpoint detection and response solutions, to find and address zero-day vulnerabilities that might be detrimental to a company. Many solutions incorporating AI technology to improve their security posture will be available in the upcoming years.

The most important thing that can be done at any company is to develop and foster a culture of awareness regarding cybersecurity concerns. Cybersecurity can no longer be viewed by employers and employees as something that the IT department should handle. Instead of taking a proactive approach, many IT security plans choose a reactive one that requires spending money to recover from attacks and repair brand reputation. Attackers profit from this and aim for the weak points to inflict harm. Social engineering techniques are used in phishing attacks to trick victims into providing sensitive information or downloading malware onto their machines.

Without technical knowledge, anyone may learn to spot these assaults and take easy precautions to protect oneself. In the same way, everyone should be trained and kept up to date on basic security skills, including how to use strong passwords and understand two-factor authentication (2FA). If a company wants to ensure resilience and readiness over the next 12 months, simple measures like these will be a crucial part of its security strategy.

Companies in Africa and the rest of the world will be under pressure from the cyber threat landscape in the upcoming months. Attack vectors will get more ferocious as artificial intelligence and machine learning become more widely used. To keep their environments secure, businesses and consumers must have a thorough cybersecurity strategy. Ransomware and increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks are not going away anytime soon.

Users are under increased pressure to stay current on the most recent changes to the threat landscape. Individuals cannot afford to ignore cybersecurity due to the smaller, more agile criminal entities aiming to exploit any potential holes in enterprise and end-user defences. The necessity of organisations and consumers needing to be attentive and make sure their applications and data are protected will be highlighted in the upcoming months. Users across Africa must give their cyber defences top priority due to the rise in malware, the normalisation of hybrid work, and the requirement to adopt cutting-edge technology in a digital environment.

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