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Africa endures surge in cyber attacks

JOHANNESBURG – DISTRIBUTED denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in Africa have increased by 300 percent in 2021, compared to the same period in 2019.

SEACOM, a leading pan-African technology service provider, revealed with the unprecedented shift toward online working, cybercriminals have had access to a larger attack surface and more vulnerable home networks.

“Unfortunately, this surge in attacks shows no sign of slowing down,” the company stated.

A DDoS attack is a type of targeted cyberattack on servers and networks that takes advantage of the specific capacity limits of network resources.

The attackers will send multiple requests to a network, such as a company’s website, with the aim of overwhelming the network and saturating traffic volumes.

This causes the network or services to stop functioning, making it inaccessible to normal users, as well as more vulnerable to further attacks.

The continent experienced a similar spike in February 2020, coinciding with global COVID-19 related lockdowns.

According to SEACOM, Africa experienced 382,500 DDoS attacks between January and July 2021.

Of these, a massive 59 percent took place in Kenya and South Africa.

Steve Briggs, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at SEACOM, commented on the surge.

“While many businesses are in the process of undergoing rapid digital transformation, cyberattacks are also reaching record-breaking figures in 2021,” he said.

Fortunately, even as cyberattacks become more sophisticated year-on-year, so do the means to protect against them, the executive said.

“Now, it is more important than ever for businesses to take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to cybersecurity,” Briggs added.

SEACOM launched Africa’s first broadband submarine cable system along the continent’s Eastern and Southern coasts in 2009.

– CAJ News

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