Increased digitization leaves Kenya vulnerable to massive cyberattacks

Cyber attack

Kenya has experienced a rapid rise in cyberattacks in the last six years as the East African nation races to become Africa’s digital hub.

Christopher Wambua, the acting director-general of the Communication Authority of Kenya, said Monday in a statement issued in the Kenyan capital Nairobi that the country had registered 860 million cases of cyberattacks in the last year, with the majority of them targeting Critical Information Infrastructure (CII).

“For the last six years, cyberattacks targeted at CII in the country stood at 7.7 million annually. In the last 12 months alone, the attacks have skyrocketed to a new high of 860 million,” Wambua said, noting that of the attacks, 79 percent were a result of criminals exploiting flaws and vulnerabilities in the organization’s internal controls and systems while malware attacks accounted for 14 percent.

This trend ranks Kenya as the top three most targeted countries in Africa behind Nigeria and South Africa, said Wambua as the country started to mark October Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which is a global initiative that brings together private and public partners to empower consumers with skills and knowledge to secure themselves online.

The Kenyan government has in the last year digitized most of its services, taking over 7,000 of them online, a rise from 300 services a year ago.

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