AFRICAN BUSINESSES SEE 20% SURGE IN CYBERATTACKS IN Q1 2024 REPORT

AFRICAN BUSINESSES SEE 20% SURGE IN CYBERATTACKS IN Q1 2024 REPORT

African businesses see 20% surge in cyberattacks in Q1 2024—Report

The latest report by cybersecurity firm, Check Point, has revealed that businesses in Africa witnessed a 20% increase in cyberattacks in Q1 2024 compared with the same period last year.

While there was a 5% increase in the average number of cyberattacks per organization globally compared with the same quarter last year, the report indicated that African businesses witnessed the highest number of attacks compared to other regions.

“Regionally, Africa surged to the forefront with an average of 2,373 attacks per week per organization, a 20% jump from the same period in 2023.
“In contrast, Latin America showed a 20% decline, perhaps indicating a shift in focus or improved defensive measures in the region; another reason could be a temporary shift in focus by cybercriminals on other more vulnerable regions across the world,” Check Point stated in the report.

 

Regional analysis of cyberattacks in Q1 2024
Most-attacked sectors
The report further revealed that the Education/Research sector experienced a significant blow with an average of 2,454 attacks per organization weekly, leading the chart in targeted industries.

The sector was followed by the Government/Military (1,692 attacks per week) and Healthcare (1,605 attacks per organization) sectors, signaling an alarming vulnerability in sectors that are pivotal to societal function.

“However, it is the substantial year-on-year increase in attacks on the Hardware Vendor industry, rising by 37%, which underlines a strategic shift in target preference by cybercriminals. This industry’s increasing reliance on hardware for IoT and smart devices makes these vendors lucrative targets for cybercriminals,” it added.

Ransomware attack
In terms of the attack type, the report showed that North America was the region most impacted by Ransomware attacks in Q1 2024, accounting for 59% out of close to 1000 published ransomware attacks. It was followed by Europe (24%) and APAC (12%).

The largest increase in reported ransomware attacks compared to Q1 2023 was seen in Europe, with a significant 64% increase.

“This significant increase could be attributed to factors such as increased digitization of services and regulatory environments that may make organizations more vulnerable or visible targets. In contrast, North America saw a 16% increase, indicating a sustained focus by attackers on this region.
“The most impacted Industry globally was the Manufacturing sector, accounting for 29% of published ransomware attacks and having almost double the amount of reported attacked YoY, followed by the Healthcare industry with 11% of the attacks (and 63% increase YoY), and Retail/Wholesale with 8% of the attacks,” the report stated.
Response strategies for businesses
To protect themselves against the rising attacks, Check Point said businesses must adopt a multi-faceted approach to cybersecurity, encompassing robust data backups, frequent cyber awareness training, timely security patches, strong user authentication, and advanced anti-ransomware solutions.

It added that proactive engagement with AI-powered defenses can significantly bolster an organization’s resilience against these threats.

While noting that the escalating threats are becoming more sophisticated, Check Point said advancements in defense techniques especially in threat detection and analysis and spotting anomalies and new attack patterns early, particularly in AI, have become pivotal for businesses.

 

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