Kenya becomes the third most targeted country by hackers in Africa according to official government data, with 860 million cyber-attacks recorded in the past 12 months alone.
South Africa and Nigeria were placed first and second, respectively, according to data provided by the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team and Coordination Centre via the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).
The research reveals that cybercriminals exploited weaknesses and vulnerabilities in organizations’ internal controls and information systems in 79% of the attacks.
“In the last 12 months alone, the attacks have skyrocketed to a new high of 860 million cyber-attacks. Of these attacks, 79% were a result of cyber criminals exploiting flaws and vulnerabilities in organizations’ internal controls, system procedures, and information systems, which they used to gain unauthorized access to the computer systems,” the authority says in a new statement.
According to the report, Critical Information Infrastructure was the target of the majority of these attacks.
The statement also highlighted other forms of cyber-attacks affecting the country including, Malicious software (14 percent), Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) (6.5 percent), and attacks targeted at web applications.
While the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team and Coordination Centre is constantly working to counter cyberattacks, evolving technological innovations have advanced the frequency and sophistication of these attacks leaving Kenyans a vulnerable bunch.
As a result, the agency suggests a number of preventive steps Kenyans should take to safeguard themselves from cybercrime.
These include utilizing secure internet connections, using unique passwords, refraining from saving passwords in web browsers, installing genuine antivirus software on devices, and regularly updating computer operating systems.
In July, Kenya suffered a high-profile cyber-attack on the eCitizen platform which saw access to over 5,000 government services from ministries, county governments, and agencies paralyzed.
The attack was by hackers who identified themselves as Anonymous Sudan.