Kaspersky Research Reveals Alarming Surge in Mobile Threats Across Africa

Kaspersky reports a 5% rise in mobile threats in Africa; adware and banking trojans surge. Proactive cybersecurity crucial.

According to Kaspersky research on mobile cyberthreat dynamics in Q2 2023, threats for mobile devices are growing worldwide. In particular, the number of mobile threats for Android devices detected and blocked by Kaspersky in the Middle East, Turkiye, and Africa (META) region increased by 5% in Q2 2023 when compared to the same period last year. Given the ubiquity of mobile devices in Africa, recording such an increase is a cause for concern.

Among the most prevalent mobile threats that were detected in Africa are adware and mobile banking threats. The Kaspersky report indicates substantial adware detections in Q2 2023, with a spike of 94% in Nigeria, 39% in Kenya and 27% in South Africa. There was also a notable increase in the detections of mobile banking trojans in Q2 2023, which are used to hunt for data related to online banking and e-payment systems.

As Africa witnesses an upsurge in smartphone adoption, combined with the burgeoning trend of mobile banking, it’s imperative to address the inherent cybersecurity challenges that exist.

The region, with its tech-savvy demographic and dynamic digital landscape, offers a fertile ground for cybercriminals to exploit and our research shows that cybercriminals are doing just that. This underscores the necessity for a forward-thinking and proactive approach to mobile cybersecurity for consumers and businesses alike. From banking malware targeting mobile transactions to ransomware hijacking device data, cybercriminals are continually evolving their tactics. Another cyberattack vector that we see cybercriminals focus on, and particularly in Africa, is outdated software. A considerable number of users in Africa make use of low-end or older mobile devices that may lack the latest security features and updates, making them more susceptible to mobile threats. Against this backdrop, it’s not just about implementing cybersecurity solutions on mobile devices but also about educating users on best practices and the rapidly changing threat landscape.

Mobile cybersecurity isn’t merely about deploying security software. It requires a holistic approach, blending technology, user education, and industry collaboration. As we navigate this digital age, Kaspersky is committed to strengthening Africa’s mobile cybersecurity landscape, ensuring that users can safely and confidently leverage the power of mobile technology.

Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Client Lead, Kaspersky in Africa

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