The adoption of technology across Africa is growing exponentially.Online commerce is predicted to be worth 75 billion dollars by the year 2025 but with opportunity comes risk.“The cybersecurity of a structure, most of the country (countries) don’t have it,and those who have got it, it’s in a very level I mean in an infancy level.”
A report by security firm Norton says close to 9 million South Africans claim to have experienced cybercrime in 2016.“Africa as a consequence loses over 2.5 billion U.S. dollars a year to cybercrime, and over 500 million is from Nigeria.”Like the Internet, cybercrime easily crosses borders and Africa has been hit by recent global attacks.
Ransomware, where criminals demand money in return for unfreezing affected devices,plus other viruses and social media scams have all affected the continent,but experts warn the lack of preparedness in Africa poses additional dangers.
“Most of the African states do not have the cybersecurity crisis management plan in place and their odds of a kind of education and the legislation as well is very weak because they do trade they do focus on our traditional crime.”Governments should collaborate more closely with the private sector, says Itimi.“The private sector has more knowledge about cybersecurity and what infrastructure needs to be put in place to actually solve that.Also information and education; individuals need to be educated.”
Nigeria is one of the few African states to have passed specific cybercrime legislation but there have been very few prosecutions.“The reason why there’s implementation problems is because we don’t have lawyers who are well-educated on cybercrimes to be able to put a case to a judge.
The so-called Internet of Things where devices like thermostats, televisions even cars are connected to the web is set to change everyday life for people and businesses, but experts warn more investment and education are needed.“When you look at their budget phase for the ITO, IT security, it’s very small and some of them do not even invest at all so they are waiting for something to happen then they can deal with it.”
Africa is a global leader in the adoption of mobile technology for money transfers with over 1 in 10 people using the technology.Experts warn cyber criminals see that as an opportunity and are increasingly targeting mobile devices for identity theft and scams.
Henry Ridgwell, for VOA News, London.