Africa has always been prone to cyber-related threats due to the high number of domains paired with weak network and information security. In major African cities, such as Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi, the rate of cyber connected disturbances, such as fraudulent financial transactions and child kidnappings, facilitated through Internet communications has doubled in the past three years.
Africa has always been prone to cyber-related threats due to the high number of domains paired with weak network and information security. In Africa, Nigeria remains the largest target and source of malicious Internet activities. It is known to be one of the primary origins of scam and phishing emails and other online fraud schemes.
In major African cities, such as Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi, the rate of cyber connected disturbances, such as fraudulent financial transactions and child kidnappings, especially in Kenya, facilitated through Internet communications has doubled in the past three years. A 2019 Deloitte Touche survey found that financial institutions in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia had registered losses of up to $245 million due to cyber fraud, a high sum for countries without highly developed banking systems.
Cybercriminals have taken advantage of COVID-19 related disruptions (remote work, instability) to stage attacks on small and large business entities worldwide. A survey commissioned by Liquid Telecom in August 2020 revealed that 57 percent of network managers in Africa reported a spike in cyber threats as the continent struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ideas we are looking for:
- Set up tracking, detecting, and taking down the fake news on all platforms. Detecting the misinformation and synthetic media (deep fakes, synthetic images, voices)
- Improving counter-messaging and automated fact-checking.
- Map existing national and regional data privacy and protection (policies, regulations, promotion, and enforcement mechanism) concerning e-trade, digital industry, e-business, digital entrepreneurship, e-business registration, e-investment, and e-service providers across Africa, and identify points of alignment and divergence (Smart Africa Senegal Flagship). Conclusions for best practices.
- Protecting personal data. Anonymization of personal data that is used for tracking people’s trajectories or monitoring health
- Fights against cyber attacks and malware targeted against corporate organizations
- Contingency plans in place to boost the organization’s cyber resilience
- Protecting smartphones against cyber attacks
- Monitoring and defending national networks to make African countries less vulnerable to cyber espionage and cyberterrorism
- Using ICT to detect and track terrorism attacks across Africa in the planning phase
- Cybersecurity legal frameworks to fight cybercrime
- Education initiatives on Internet safety and security to tackle the issues of child protection and social security in general
- Education programs on ICT-related security issues for stakeholders (ICT regulators, law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, end-users)