Specifically, a report by KnowBe4African Report disclosed that of all the countries surveyed, 75 per cent of Kenyans, and 74 per cent South Africans were the most concerned about the risk of cybercrime on the Continent. It is to the extent that respondents were comfortable giving away their personal information as long as they understood what it was being used for.
The report informed that 53 per cent of the Africans surveyed think that trusting emails from people they know is good enough, while 28 per cent have fallen for a phishing email and 50 per cent have had a malware infection.
Interestingly, in the region, 64 per cent don’t know what ransomware is, and yet believe they can easily identify a security threat, with 52 per cent not knowing what multi-factor authentication is.
According to the report, across South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritius, and Botswana, largely, people living on the Continent are not prepared for the cyber threat. About 65 per cent of respondents across all eight countries are concerned about cyber crime.
KnowBe4African Report said the people are vulnerable, as they are not aware of what they don’t know; adding that from ransomware to phishing to malware and credential theft, users are not protecting themselves adequately because they mistakenly think they’re informed, ready and prepared. On this, around 55 per cent believe that they would recognise a security incident if they saw one.
Accordingly, the report said this is a worrying trend – many phishing scams will use any means necessary to tease out valuable nuggets of personal information and phone calls or emails from so-called ‘trusted sources’ are among the most common methods used.
The problem, as identified by the report, is that most users are not aware of how cybercriminals operate and the tools that they use.
It pointed out that more than half of respondents across all eight countries felt very confident that they would recognise a security incident or issue if they saw one, but a significant percentage have had a PC infection, and more than a quarter had fallen for a scam.
The KnowBe4 survey found that even though nearly half of the respondents across all eight countries felt that their organisations had trained them adequately, a quarter of them didn’t know what ransomware was.More than 50 per cent of respondents are not aware of what multi-factor authentication is or the benefit thereof.
Using stolen credentials was the third most common attack vector used in successful breaches and applying multi-factor authentication, which is combining your password with something that you own, such as a One-Time-Password app on your phone, which reduces this risk significantly.
Phishing is still the number one attack vector of successful data breaches, as according to the report, email security is one of the biggest threats facing the average user, both at work and at home.Also, it is one of the most common communication methods — more than 70 per cent of those surveyed use email to collaborate with friends and colleagues. Most people don’t realise what a risky email looks like or how their actions can result in their systems becoming infected.
Email remains one of the most successful forms of cyber attack today, for this very reason. People are quick to click on links or attachments sent to them from people they know, not realising that cybercriminals have potentially hacked or spoofed (impersonated) their friends, colleague’s or suppliers’ systems to spread malware or launch other forms of attacks.
Cybercriminals can easily mimic contact lists or use email addresses that look as if they’ve come from trusted institutions, and a simple click can unleash a ransomware attack that can hold an entire company, government or home hostage.