Africa records over 1,600 weekly cyber attacks

A recent report has found that organisations in African countries have been victim to an average of 1,615 cyber attacks.

The research, conducted by cybersecurity solutions provider CheckPoint Software Technologies (CST), found thebreaches in Africa had risen by 15 per cent compared to 2020. The firm also disclosed that 2021 recorded a 50 percent rise in overall attacks per week on corporate networks globally, compared to the year before. CST noted that Asia Pacific (APAC) comes second place, with an average of 1,299 weekly attacks per organisation (20 per cent increase), followed by Latin America with an average of 1,117 attacks weekly (37 per cent increase), Europe with 665 (65 per cent increase) and North America with 497 (57 per cent increase).

CheckPoint stated that one major attack and threats for organisations was botnet, which launched in 2021. The cybersecurity firm explained that botnet is a network of malware-infected computers that can be controlled by a single command and control centre operated by a cybercriminal. The network itself, which can be composed of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of computers, is then used to further spread the malware and increase the size of the network. This is a particular threat to large organisations as it can mean an attack can be devastating with widespread effects in minutes.

CheckPoint said: “The malware type that impacts organisations the most in 2021 is the botnet with an average of over eight per cent organisations being impacted weekly (a nine per cent decrease from 2020), followed by banking malware at 4.6 per cent (a 26 per cent increase) and cryptominer at 4.2 per cent (a 22 per cent decrease), ransomware 1.9 per cent and mobile 1.2 per cent.”

CheckPoint claimed that the increase in multi-vector attacks designed to infect multiple components of an IT infrastructure is highly alarming. They added that such attacks are the biggest challenge facing security practitioners, requiring effective measures to be put in place. These measures include prevention of the attacks before they happen and employing a security architecture that enables and facilitates protection quickly and effectively.

Discussing effective security solutions, CheckPoint said: “While there isn’t a single silver-bullet technology that can protect organisations from all threats and all threat vectors, there are many great technologies available, such as machine learning, sandboxing, anomaly detection, content disarmament, and many more. Each of these technologies can be highly effective in specific scenarios, covering specific file types or attack vectors.”

The cybersecurity experts noted that two important things to consider are threat extraction (file sanitisation) and threat emulation (advanced sandboxing), explaining that each element provides distinct protection against cyber attacks. When used together, the threat extraction and emulation offer a comprehensive solution for protection against unknown malware at the network level and directly on endpoint devices.

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