Expert at Check Point Software Technologies, a cyber-security solutions provider said mobile attacks are having a major impact on organisations in Nigeria.
The expert, Rick Rogers, Regional Director, Africa at Check Point also expressed worried about Africa as an increasing choice target by cybercriminals.
Speaking at the 2018 Check Point Experience Conference in Lagos, South West, Nigeria Rogers, said that one of the key markets in Africa, Nigeria is quickly becoming a mobile-first country, with mobile penetration increasing from 53% in 2016 to 84% in 2017.
He noted that even though major malware like Ransomware, cryptominer, and banking trojans have had, and continue to have, a big impact, mobile attack is on the rise.
The expert while recognizing Africa as an important region for growth and investment said that cybercrime is a serious threat to countries in Africa and identified continuous fight against mobile security as a main challenges that the security industry in Africa is battling with.
He noted that sub-Saharan Africa alone currently has a unique mobile subscriber penetration of 44%, expected to hit 52% in 2025.
According to Rogers, the sheer economy of scale offered by mobile devices is incredibly appealing to cybercriminals stating that they are using every available opportunity to attack individuals and organisations through their mobile devices, including Apps, particularly because these devices are so popular and people usually do not take as strict precautions when it comes to securing them as they would with their laptops for example.
He disclosed that Check Point has discovered two major vulnerabilities related to mobile devices over the past month alone – Man-in-the-Disk which our researchers discovered a new attack surface for Android apps exploiting a shortcoming in the way that Android apps use storage resources and FakesApp which researchers discovered a vulnerability in WhatsApp that allows a threat actor to intercept and manipulate messages sent by those in a group or private conversation.
When comparing the impact of these attacks to the global market, he said Check Point find that Nigeria averaged 20% – 35% higher between January and August this year, which is not to be taken lightly.
The current threat landscape has evolved into a much more aggressive beast. We are now experiencing Gen V (5th Generation) cyber-attacks, which are characterized as large-scale and fast moving across multiple industries.
“These sophisticated attacks on mobile, cloud and various enterprise networks, easily bypass conventional defenses being used by most organizations today as they rely on older generations of security,” said Rogers.
He urged local businesses to partner with security specialists that can help them remain one step ahead of the game is essential.
He disclosed that to ensure that enterprises across Africa have access to the expertise and technology needed to protect themselves from sophisticated attacks on all fronts, the company has invested in growing its local teams in North Africa, East Africa, South Africa, SADC and West Africa.
As a result, he said key appointments were made.
They are: Bryan Chuka Ofoegbu – Acting Country Manager for Nigeria and West Africa; Grant Hamilton – Country Manager for South Africa; Kendi Ntwiga-Nderitu – Country Manager for Kenya and East Africa; Tony Galvao – Sales Manager, South Africa; Filipe Galvao – Acting Country Manager for SADC (excluding South Africa) and Matan Burstein – Africa SE Manager.
With a team of over 40 members across Africa, Check Point can provide their clients across the continent with greater access to the Check Point team and direct services.
Given the pace at which the cyber security industry operates, remaining future-focused is key. Check Point is already focused on the next wave of attacks and ensuring that our clients across Africa and the world can protect their organizations, their employees and their reputations in the ever-evolving space that is cyber security.
Isaiah Erhiawarien, Lagos