SECURITY

Small firms more exposed to cyber attacks - study

Kaspersky showed young startups are always more exposed than traditional businesses.

In Summary

•South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya remain the main three markets, with 141, 101 and 78 active ventures respectively

•Last year, the Communications Authority recorded 25.38 million cyber threats out of which the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Center (KE-CIRT/CC) fronted 24,623 cases as critical

Cybersecurity researchers have found evidence they say could link North Korea with the WannaCry cyber attack
Cybersecurity researchers have found evidence they say could link North Korea with the WannaCry cyber attack
Image: FILE

Increased use of e-commerce continues to expose more businesses, especially small ones to the risk of cyber attacks, according to a new security report  

The findings by multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky showed young startups are always more exposed than traditional businesses.

The study found that smaller firms have undeveloped infrastructure, especially at startup stage, making them an easy target.

 
 

“There are also a growing number of businesses that are using or offering cryptocurrency and mobile money as payment methods and cybercriminals are embracing this trend, using sophisticated techniques to access funds,” Kaspersky Africa enterprise sales manager Bethwel Opil said.

Last year, the Communications Authority recorded 25.38 million cyber threats out of which the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Center (KE-CIRT/CC) fronted 24,623 cases as critical, forwarding them to the affected firms for action.

The reported attacks included cases of malware, systems misconfigurations, web application, botnet, online fraud, online impersonation and online abuse attacks.

According to Opil, majority of fintech firms do not have proper defense mechanisms in place to protect their services and their users against a data breach.

The report shows Africa’s fintech ecosystem has has grown 60 per cent in the last two years with Fintech firms growing to 491 from 301 in 2017.

According to Kaspersky, fintechs raised $132.8 million (Sh13.79 billion) in funding last year on the back of increased mobile financial services firms.

The report shows South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya remain the main three markets, with 141, 101 and 78 active ventures respectively, accounting for 65.2 per cent of Africa’s fintech startups.

 
 

“Kenya has brought about practical Fintech experiences making it one of the most financially inclusive countries in Africa and where mobile money transactions contribute a significant percentage to the country’s GDP,” Opil said.

He said that while cybercrime and the importance of security had captured both consumers and business owners’ attention there was still need to prioritise on the business agenda to ensure firms could fully reap their benefits.