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Many Africans Still Believe Cybercrime ‘won’t Affect them’ – Report

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The digital landscape is overflowing with an ever-evolving array of solutions and services created to make lives easier, offices smoother and engagements richer.

Smartphones, applications, social media, artificial intelligence (AI) platforms and multiple other tools have all become part and parcel of daily life on the African continent, transforming how people connect, collaborate and engage.

Unfortunately, they have also opened up cyber windows that let in the attacks and the threats that compromise organisations and individuals.

For Anna Collard, SVP Content Strategy & Evangelist at KnowBe4 Africa, it has become critical for organisations to invest in training and awareness programmes that help them to identify criminal tactics and mitigate risk.

“We undertook a poll to assess cybersecurity awareness in Africa and discovered that some of the key issues facing organisations right now were awareness and understanding,” she explains. “Many people still feel safe online and believe that cybercrime will not affect them personally. Others expect their work to take care of their cyber safety or do not know how to mitigate the threats themselves.”

The KnowBe4 Cybersecurity in Africa survey polled 800 employees across multiple sectors in Mauritius, Botswana, Egypt and Ghana to assess their cybersecurity awareness.

The survey focused on their levels of connectivity, the digital devices and platforms used, their perceptions of cybersecurity, the ways in which they work and their understanding of the threats.

Of those surveyed, 97% use a smart phone, 74% use a laptop, 47% have a smart TV, 31% use a tablet, 17% have a gaming console, 8% use a feature phone and less than 1% had none of these devices.

When asked what applications they use for work, the most prevalent was WhatsApp (89%), followed by email (80%), Facebook (59%), Telegram (46%), Instagram (45%), Twitter (42%), Zoom (42%), LinkedIn (36%), Microsoft Teams (18%), Snapchat (18%), Slack (5%), WeChat (4%), Signal (4%) or other tools (1%).

On the personal front, the picture remains largely unchanged with Facebook ranking second (78%), followed by Instagram (57%), email (46%), Telegram (40%), Twitter (39%), Snapchat (25%), LinkedIn (14%), Zoom (11%), Signal (3%), Microsoft Teams (2%) and other tools (1%).

“WhatsApp is the most used app across both personal (98%) and business use cases,” says Collard. “While email remains the most popular form of business communication on the continent, it is still immensely popular for personal use. Both platforms are high-risk for cyber threats such as phishing, ransomware and fraud, so these should be a priority for organisations looking to drive awareness and training.”

Connectivity is of course a key concern, as it often introduces vulnerabilities into both professional and personal networks and devices. The survey found that 71% access the internet through their mobile networks, overlapping with the 71% who access the internet through home Wi-Fi, and 36% who go online through work/office networks, while 12% access the internet at internet cafes, and 15% use free Wi-Fi at public places.

“The question is – do people understand the risks associated with accessing the internet in public places and are they putting the right security protocols in place?” asks Collard. “Often, people do not even know that they can be hacked while they access free Wi-Fi, or that they can have critical information, like passwords, stolen while they are online.”

This concern is reflected in the research around cybercrime awareness. On a scale of one to five, most said that they were concerned with cybercrime, with 29% saying they were ‘very concerned’ and 38% saying they were ‘concerned’.

However, 19% said that they were ‘somewhat concerned’ but that they did not understand the threats or how to mitigate them while 7% said that they did not believe it affected them personally because their work took care of it and 7% felt safe and ‘not at all concerned’.

“The problem is – everyone should be concerned about cybercrime,” says Collard. “All it takes is for one person to introduce a virus to a system or open up a doorway or lose their passwords, and the entire organisation is put at risk. Training has never been more important, especially when there is a clear trend around people feeling like they do not know enough about cybercrime to protect themselves or feel like they do not understand what they need to do to stay informed about the risks.”

This is reflected in the biggest concerns raised by those who were worried about cybercrime, with respondents citing online fraud (51%), identity theft (24%), children and family (14%), lack of understanding (10%) and other concerns (1%) as their primary worries. While over half said that they had received cybersecurity training from their employers, only 21% agreed that the training was adequate, while 10% felt it was not adequate at all.

And it is worth noting that many people still were not entirely sure what their roles and responsibilities were around information security (11%) and 45% said that they ‘somewhat agree’ that they could recognise a security incident. Only 34% of people said they felt ‘very confident’ that they could recognise a security incident if they saw one.

Most respondents are hesitant to give away personal information, with 29% saying they tended not to share personal details such as their identity number, and 51% saying they would share this information only if there was a real need to do so, and they understood what it was being used for. 13% part with personal information if they cannot avoid it.

Worryingly, 7% are comfortable sharing personal information, with 4% saying they are likely to do so if they can get something in return – such as a discount, and 3% saying they share personal information all the time.

“Then, we look at issues like cyber hygiene and discover that only 43% of respondents could identify what ransomware was, and only 61% could identify a strong password,” says Collard. “A worrying 20% selected P@$$word!, 25% selected thisismysuperwonkyapp#1, 16% chose Summer#123  and 3% chose Grandma1959. 6% said none of these were strong passwords. Only the 62% who chose DSM@8043&! were correct.”

Digging deeper into how well people understand security, the survey asked people to define two-factor authentication, and 60% said it was ‘using my password plus something I own, such as a One Time Password generator’.

However, 20% said it was ‘Entering my password twice for extra security’, 8% said it was Captcha generators, 9% said it was using two different passwords and 4% said it was using a password manager.

Only 17% say none of the common cybercrime tactics have affected them. More than half (51%) said they had previously had a virus infection on their computer, 32% had lost money due to a scam or con artist, 26% had clicked on a phishing mail, 21% had been scammed from a phone call and 17% had forwarded a scam or hoax email.

When checking to determine whether an email is legitimate, 55% said they only trusted emails from people they knew, 54% do not click on links or open attachments they were not expecting, and 27% check for bad grammar or spelling as a sign the mail is not legitimate. 31% Google the sender or topic to see if it is a scam, 23% hover over links to see their origin, and 11% do all the listed checks.

Add to this the risks of working from home – 32% said they had moved to work from home and among the 20% who were affected by cybercrime while working from home, a multitude of scams and cybercrimes occurred. These scams ranged from being tricked in crypto investment schemes and identity theft, through to accidentally downloading viruses and being hacked.

“The entire landscape is a challenge and the only way to thrive within this complexity is to arm your people with the tools and understanding they need to protect themselves,” concludes Collard.

“Training is the only way to ensure that all the protections and security investments made by the business are fully realised by those who use them. If people understand the threats, their role in mitigating the threats, and what to do to protect against them, they are empowered and more able to overcome the challenging landscape that lies ahead.”


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E-Business

Nigeria inflation rate hits 34.19%

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Nigeria’s annual inflation rate increased for the fifth consecutive month to 34.19 per cent as Nigerians battle with high living crisis.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), released on Monday, the June figure is 0.24 per cent higher than the 33.95 per cent recorded in May. The lowest figure in 2024 was 29.90 per cent, recorded in January.

On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.40 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023, which was 22.79 per cent.

“This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in the month of June 2024 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e. June 2023),” the NBS said.

NBS said on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in June 2024 was 2.31 per cent, which was 0.17 per cent higher than the rate recorded in May 2024 (2.14 per cent) meaning that in the month of June 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is higher than the rate of increase in the average price level in May 2024.

According to the NBS, the food inflation rate in June 2024 rose 40.87 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.62 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023 (25.25 per cent).


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Konga, CeraVe Ink MoU for Exclusive Launch of L’Oreal Product in Nigeria

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At long last, relief is here for the skincare enthusiasts in Nigeria! Konga Health, Nigeria’s premier digital healthcare distribution company, has sealed an exclusive partnership with CeraVe, a leading global skincare brand under the L’Oréal umbrella, to launch its product in the country. L’Oréal is the world leader in beauty: makeup, cosmetics, haircare and perfume in terms of quality, efficacy and safety.

Konga Health

Through Konga Health, a technology-driven healthcare solutions company focused on revolutionizing the healthcare value chain and a member of the Konga Group, this exclusive collaboration will debut with the renowned CeraVe line, offering unbeatable prices and free delivery to some locations Nationwide.

This enhanced partnership empowers Konga Health to onboard pharmacists, physicians, and other healthcare providers Nationwide to support the distribution of CeraVe’s product line. This initiative includes opportunities for recruitment, partnerships, and collaboration to ensure that high-quality skincare solutions are accessible to all nationwide.

This strategic alliance ensures that genuine CeraVe products reach Nigerian consumers swiftly and conveniently, leveraging Konga’s extensive e-commerce infrastructure. Concerns about counterfeit items that often plague the beauty and skincare market are now a thing of the past, as Konga becomes CeraVe’s official distributor in Nigeria.

CeraVe now boasts a dedicated official shop-in-shop (SIS) on Konga.com, serving as a one-stop destination for all authentic CeraVe products. Shoppers can directly access top-tier skincare solutions identical to those available globally.

Starting Monday, July 15th, CeraVe’s flagship products, such as the Cerave’s Hydrating Cleanser, Foaming Cleanser, SA Smoothing Cleanser, Fragrance-Free Moisturizer with 3 Essential Ceramides & Hyaluronic Acid, Barrier-Reinforcing Moisturizing Cream, Night Cream with Niacinamide, Exfoliating Salicylic Acid Foot Cream, Retinol Serum, Eye Repair Cream, Facial Moisturizers, Hyaluronic, and Vitamin C Serums, will be readily available on the Konga Health and Konga.com platforms, offering customers a seamless and convenient shopping experience.

Nnenna Emenyonu, Senior Vice President of Konga Health, expressed her excitement about the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to partner with CeraVe, a brand synonymous with quality and scientific excellence in skincare. This collaboration allows our customers access to top-tier skincare products that are dermatologically tested and proven effective.”

Rabah Deroueche, LID LDB SSA and Business Development Director at L’Oreal, shared similar sentiments, noting, “Our partnership with Konga marks a significant milestone for CeraVe in Nigeria. By leveraging our commitment to quality skincare products and Konga’s platform, CeraVe can reach a wider audience and address the skincare needs of Nigerian consumers. This collaboration ensures Nigerian consumers can easily access our products and experience the benefits of our dermatologist-developed formulations.”

CeraVe has earned its stellar reputation globally through scientifically backed formulations. Developed in close collaboration with dermatologists, CeraVe products meet the highest standards of skincare and are celebrated for using essential ingredients that ensure optimal skin health.

The partnership between Konga and L’Oreal establishes Konga’s standing as a trusted e-commerce platform offering only high-quality products. As the official distributor of CeraVe, Konga is dedicated to maintaining the brand’s integrity by providing shoppers with authentic products that meet their skincare needs.


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E-Business

TD Africa Partners CISCO on Tech-Skills Development in Africa

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In its continuous drive to bridge the widening skills gap in Africa’s technology sector, TD Africa, Africa’s largest technology distribution company, has partnered with Cisco on its month-long inaugural training program.

TD-CISCO

The program, the first of its kind in the TD Academy training series, was aimed at empowering young minds with technical skills and professional exposure.

The initiative, titled “Introduction to Cisco Networking Solutions and Workplace Professional Skills,” exemplifies TD Africa’s comprehensive and futuristic approach to technology education and professional development, empowering individuals and businesses to thrive in the digital age.

This innovative series of pooled training aims to equip the participants with the foundational knowledge of Cisco networking solutions, which is critical for building and managing robust IT infrastructure and workplace professional skills, recognizing the importance of soft skills in today’s dynamic work environment.

This combined focus on technical competence and professional development aligns with TD Africa’s robust approach towards impacting appropriate skills set into young people.

Cisco’s extensive portfolio for this first leg of TD Academy encompasses carefully curated programs in cybersecurity, data analysis, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to address the most sought-after skills in the African technology market.

For Mrs. Chioma Ekeh, CEO of TD Africa, the company’s dedication to bridging the skills gap is not a one-off training program nor limited to knowledge transfer.

Her words: “We understand the critical need for a skilled workforce to propel Africa’s digital transformation. Through our collaborative training programs with industry leaders like Cisco, we are committed to equipping individuals with the right tools and knowledge to succeed in this exciting field.”

Amblessed Ubong, one of the beneficiaries of the training program, said, “I recently completed a four-week training at the TD Academy; it was enriching and transformative.

“The sessions were thought-provoking, the trainers were passionate, and the environment was highly supportive. Collaborative projects enhanced my teamwork skills and made learning enjoyable.

“I left the TD Academy with a wealth of knowledge and a renewed enthusiasm for my career.”

Impressed by the exceptional talent emerging from the program, Africa’s number one tech distribution company immediately recruited some of the top graduates who participated in the training program.

This commitment to recognizing and nurturing talent further strengthens the technology ecosystem in Africa, creating a pipeline of skilled professionals for the future.

By empowering individuals and businesses with the necessary skills and knowledge, TD Africa is further stamping its foot in the sand of time, playing a pivotal role in Africa’s digital renaissance.


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