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32.6% of industrial computers face attacks

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By Abraham Adekunle

Kaspersky says cyberattacks grew in Africa in the first half of 2023.

In the digital space, computers are often open to some vulnerabilities which cost users and industries money. A form of these vulnerabilities is shown in the form of malware. Malware is software that is installed on a computer without the user’s consent and that performs malicious actions, such as stealing passwords or money. They are usually remotely controlled and computers are exposed through malicious links that download infected files to the computer. Cyber security experts have various ways of detecting this software, but the most common is scanning an infected device.

A Russian multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, Kaspersky, has revealed that Malware was detected and blocked on 32.6 percent of industrial computers in Nigeria, 34.5 per cent in Kenya, and 29.1 per cent in South Africa, during the first half of 2023. According to the cybersecurity firm, the most significant and targeted threats detected on ICS computers in selected countries of Africa showed that the threat landscape could vary between countries and industries due to the differences in the security maturity of different countries/industries and the current focus of threat actors.

Africa was the most attacked region in the first half of 2023.

Overall, attacks were detected on 40.3 percent of ICS computers, making Africa the most attacked region. The top industries under attack were energy (45.9 percent), engineering and integration (44 percent), and building automation (40 percent), adding that all the attacks were blocked after detection. Explaining ICS computers, the firm said that they are used in oil and gas, energy, automotive manufacturing, building automation infrastructures, and other spheres to perform a range of operational technology functions — from the workstations of engineers and operators to supervisory control and data acquisition servers and Human Machine Interface.

According to the company, cyberattacks on industrial computers are considered to be extremely dangerous as they may cause material losses and production downtime for the controlled production line and even the facility as a whole. Moreover, industrial enterprises put out of service can seriously undermine a region’s social welfare, ecology, and macroeconomics. The firm highlighted that the different types of cyber threats that OT-related computers face include malicious scripts, spy trojans, worms, ransomware, and others.

ICS expert comments on Africa’s digital infrastructure.

Furthermore, Africa had the highest percentage of ICS computers on which spyware was blocked (9.8 percent), followed by the Middle East and Southeast Asia with 8.3 percent and 8.1 percent respectively. The global average stood at 6.1 percent. Commenting on the issue, Head of Kaspersky ICS CERT, Evgeny Goncharov, said that Africa’s industrial landscape is diverse, ranging from large-scale mining operations to small-scale agriculture. This means that ICS cybersecurity solutions need to be adaptable to various sectors and technologies.

Also, he said that in some regions, legacy ICS systems that lack modern security features are still in use. These systems are often more vulnerable to cyberthreats and require significant upgrades. Also, some critical infrastructure in Africa is located in remote areas with limited connectivity, which can make it difficult to monitor and secure ICS assets effectively. Goncharov further noted that by understanding their risks, organizations could make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and efficiently fortify their defenses.

FG reportedly blocked over 200 attacks during the elections.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammad Abubakar, on Tuesday, disclosed that the Federal Government blocked over 200 cyberattacks during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections. He had made this disclosure at the opening session of a two-day ministerial training for GBB board members and management in March 2023 in Abuja. The Federal Government had on February 23, 2023 inaugurated a committee for cyberspace and Information and Communication Technology infrastructure protection ahead of the 2023 general elections.

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2 months ago

32.6% of industrial computers face attacks. – Kaspersky says cyberattacks grew in Africa in the first half of 2023. – Express your point of view.

2 months ago

I share your concern about the rising cyberattacks in Africa, as reported by Kaspersky. The fact that 32.6% of industrial computers face attacks is indeed alarming. Cybersecurity has become a critical issue in today’s interconnected world, and it’s essential for individuals, organizations, and governments to take proactive measures to protect against these threats.
Cyberattacks pose significant risks to various sectors, including critical infrastructure, financial institutions, healthcare systems, and government entities. These attacks can disrupt operations, compromise sensitive data, and even cause physical harm in certain cases. Therefore, it’s imperative to prioritize cybersecurity investments and implement robust defense mechanisms to safeguard against these evolving threats.
To effectively address the growing cyber threat landscape, a multi-faceted approach is required. This includes enhancing cybersecurity awareness and education, promoting information sharing and collaboration between public and private sectors, and implementing stringent regulations and standards to ensure the protection of critical infrastructure.
Organizations must invest in advanced technologies, such as intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and encryption tools, to fortify their networks and systems. Regular security audits, vulnerability assessments, and employee training programs are also essential to minimize the risk of successful cyberattacks.
Governments play a crucial role in establishing a secure cyber environment. They should enact legislation that mandates cybersecurity standards, encourages information sharing, and imposes penalties for cybercriminals. Additionally, governments should invest in cybersecurity research and development, foster partnerships with the private sector, and support initiatives aimed at developing a skilled cybersecurity workforce.
Individuals also have a role to play in maintaining cybersecurity. Practicing good cyber hygiene, such as using strong passwords, regularly updating software, and being cautious of suspicious emails or links, can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks.

2 months ago

The attack rate of 32.6% on industrial computers is alarming. In the connected world of today, cybersecurity has become a major worry, and it is essential for people, businesses, and governments to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from these risks.

2 months ago

The fact that 32.6% of industrial computers are targeted is troubling. Cybersecurity has become a major worry in today’s networked world, and it is essential for people, businesses, and governments to take preemptive measures to protect themselves from these threats