The latest report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has painted a grim picture of Nigeria’s digital payments ecosystem, revealing 37% of respondents in its study suffered financial losses last year.
The Kaspersky study says the majority of digital payments users (97%) lost up to $1,000 equivalent as a result of the threats they encountered when using online banking and mobile wallet services.
In the year, the security firm notes that 3% of the respondents reported a loss of more than USD 1,000 equivalent.
Kaspersky Security Network says 161,272 financial threats were blocked in Nigeria by Kaspersky in 2022.
This, as the company warns, complex attacks by advanced persistent threat groups on financial institutions are also on a rise.
In its caveat, Kaspersky says in-depth visibility and threat intelligence are a necessity to keep customers protected from attacks and to ensure business continuity.
The attacks, the company says, were aimed at stealing financial information such as credit card numbers and login credentials and usually rely on social engineering tactics to lure victims.
In its report, Kaspersky warns that the impact of a cyber threat targeting digital payments does not just impose a financial burden on consumers, but also affects them psychologically.
For example, the company says: “60% of respondents from Nigeria said that they were very anxious about getting their money back. 43% of users reported that they have less trust in digital payment providers.
80% also stated that they became more vigilant after experiencing a cyber incident, and 65% installed security solutions like an antivirus on their infected devices.”
According to Kaspersky, since the beginning of the pandemic, 64% of users in Nigeria faced at least one incident when using digital payments
“That’s why it’s increasingly important to know how to interact securely with any emerging technologies, including online banking and mobile wallet services,” said Emad Haffar, Head of technical experts at Kaspersky.
“And all stakeholders, like government, digital payment providers, users, and even cybersecurity companies need to come together to create a sustainable and secure payment ecosystem.”
To help users embrace digital payment technologies securely, Kaspersky experts suggest users not share PINs, passwords, or any other financial information with anyone online or offline.