IT security experts at Kaspersky Lab Africa believe Kenya is likely to witness an increase in cyber-attacks - particularly phising and ransomware - as its economy relies more on technology for development.
Riaan Badenhorst, Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab Africa, said, "Cyber-attacks are getting more sophisticated and tailored all over the world. And, META region (Middle East, Turkey and Africa) is no exception. While cyber threats remain the same in all parts of the world, META users seem to be heavily impacted by phishing and ransomware attacks. Kaspersky Lab experts witnessed an increase of 78% in phishing attacks targeting the region."
Kenya should expect and prepare for an increase in cyber-attacks, the organisation stated.
According to Kaspersky Lab 33.5% of internet users in Kenya faced internet borne cyber threats in 2018, with an estimated 20 million-plus attacks throughout the period.
"If we compare with 2017, we see that there was an increase in the number web-borne threats, almost four times," said Badenhorst.
Statistics from the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) support Kaspersky's findings.
CA's last quarter report for the period July to September 2018 noted an increase in reported cyber-attacks. The National Cybersecurity Centre (NCC) reported 6,384 cyber threat cases that were escalated compared to 2,613 in the previous quarter.
Badenhorst said attacks using social engineering is also on the rise. He explained that social engineering is a technique designed to lure unsuspecting users into sending their confidential data, infecting their computers with malware or opening links to infected sites.
The CA report reflected an increase in online impersonation which is often used in engineering an attack. In the July- September 2018 quarter, there were 196 reported cases of online impersonation compared to 34 cases in the previous quarter.
Kaspersky Lab Africa has urged Kenyans to focus on securing their connections, with specific attention to having a secure password, browsing encrypted sites and understanding that privacy settings in social media platforms could reduce the risk of being targeted.