Kaspersky Cyber Security Weekend META 2024 Highlights Regional Cyberthreat Evolution and Trends

Kaspersky’s event in Kuala Lumpur delves into AI, industrial control system threats, and regional cyberthreat patterns.

Kaspersky experts discussed the evolution of the cyberthreat landscape in the region during its 9th annual Cyber Security Weekend – META 2024, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The focal point of the discussions was the security of emerging technology trends such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), that are influencing the scale of modern threats. In parallel, threats targeting industrial control systems within critical infrastructure, in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia were also discussed. Kaspersky’s Cyber Immunity approach took centre stage as a way to create solutions that are virtually impossible to compromise and that minimise the number of potential vulnerabilities.

In the African region, Kaspersky’s telemetry showed the number of overall cyberthreats in South Africa decreased by 29% in 2023 as compared to 2022. At the same time, phishing attacks that use social engineering tactics to scam people into revealing sensitive information rose by 29%. Over the same period, Kenya saw a decrease in overall threats by 8% while an increase was seen in ransomware attacks by 68%, backdoors by 47%, exploits by 22% and phishing by 19%. Nigeria saw an overall decrease in all threats by 10% while banking malware attacks designed to collect online banking credentials and other sensitive information from infected machines increased by 8%.

According to Kaspersky’s analysis, online threats caused by vulnerabilities on web pages, in emails or webservices, have fluctuated significantly in the region. Turkiye saw the highest number of users affected by online threats (41.8%), followed by Kenya (39.2%), Qatar (38.8%) and South Africa (35%). Fewer users were affected in Oman (23.4%) and Egypt (27.4%) followed by Saudi Arabia (29.9%) and Kuwait (30.8%).

As the cybersecurity landscape evolves, cyber threats continue to become diverse and sophisticated. This trend is particularly evident due to the emergence of advanced technologies like AI and the escalating geopolitical and economic turbulence within the Middle East, Turkiye, Africa (META) region. These factors collectively contribute to the surge in cybercrime and the heightened complexity of cyberattacks.

Amin Hasbini, Director of META Research Center Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT), Kaspersky

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