Cyber-criminals cash in on digital payments, remote working

A illustrated woman is working at home

Cyber-criminals are taking advantage of the increasing uptake of mobile money payments and remote working, to mount attacks, according to a new survey which states that cyber-crime has been on the rise since the advent of Covid-19 when more people adopted digital platforms and worked from home.
The report,  Africa Cyber Security Outlook report by advisory services firm KPMG indicates that ransomware, business email compromise and data leakages are some of the top cyber threats affecting businesses in Africa.
“Countries such as Kenya have faced ransomware attacks on supply chain networks that were interconnected using cyber-physical systems,” the report notes.
The sectors that have borne the brunt of the attacks include financial services, energy and natural resources, and information communication technology.
The biggest threat faced by African companies is business email compromise, according to 26 percent of respondents, 17 percent cited ransomware, 15 percent were hit by data leakages and five percent pointed out supply chain attacks.
“The increase in cashless payments, work-from-home enablement, and relatively low public-private partnership activity across Africa has resulted in an increase in cybercrimes after the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the report, noting that the rise in cyber-attacks was driven by monetisation of cyber-attacks, attractiveness of personal information assets for syndicates, easy access to attack tools, credential sales by initial access brokers, and availability of ransomware-as-a-service offerings.
The firm urged businesses to set aside a budget for cyber security to ensure an adequate war chest to combat the threats.


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