Cybercrime on the rise as Kenya faces 1 million threats everyday

Malware still the leading threat in country.

In Summary

•The continuously changing threat landscape is projected to rise further according to the recently Survey.

•Increased investment in web application security and greater awareness of potential threats saw attacks on web application declined from 7 million in 2021 to 1 million in 2022

A man using the Internet
A man using the Internet
Image: The Star

Kenyan businesses and individuals are increasingly having to contend with emerging online threats with the country, facing an average of one million online crimes reported every day.

The continuously changing threat landscape where cloud use is increasing and passwords are highly prized by malicious actors, attacks are projected to rise further according to the recently released Economic Survey 2023.

Between 2021 and 2022 cybersecurity advisories increased from 8.0 million in to 13.7 million in 2022 with hackers now setting sights on large organisations.

“The increase may be attributed to the sophisticated and dynamic nature of cyber threats. The total number of reported online crimes reported more than doubled from 339.1 million in 2021 to 700.0 million in 2022,” Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said in the report.

The renewed threats have increased the demand for technology based courses with a study released in February this year on the net job market, revealing a spike in demand for training in web development, cyberattack, and design.

Kaspersky’s Digital Footprint Intelligence (DFI) study revealed that those who sign up for training learn how to generate malware and phishing pages, infiltrate corporate infrastructure, and hack firms' web and mobile applications, among other talents that cost businesses millions of dollars.

Data from the Economic Survey show that in the period under review, system vulnerabilities increased significantly from 58 million in 2021 to 452.4 million in 2022, highlighting the pressing need for organisations to prioritise security patching and risk mitigation strategies.

On the contrary, increased investment in web application security and greater awareness of potential threats saw attacks on web application declined from 7.0 million in 2021 to 1.0 million in 2022

Unemployment, lack of integrity, shortage of technical skills, and easy access to IT tools are some of the reasons behind the rise in demand for net skills.

Despite having reduced from 181.9 million to 163.9 million, malware was still the leading threat in Kenya.

A malware is a software designed with the intention of damaging services, stealing data.

Botnet also known as a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) came second with 82.7 million attempts, a drop from 92.1 million in 2021.

DDoS are attacks that occurs when multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system, usually one or more web servers. 

Web application attacks came a distant third with one million attempts down from seven million in 2021.

Naivas and Kabarak University have been the latest victims of cybercriminals.

Microsoft in its published Digital Defense Report for 2022 found a 74 per cent increase in password attacks, resulting in approximately 921 attacks per second.

The report by Microsoft says while nearly 1,000 attacks per second is an astonishing amount, there is much more people and businesses can do to reduce this number. 

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