#Editorial

Beware of cyber-criminals!

May 8, 2020, 11:20 AM

Africa is among the fastest growing regions in terms of cybercrime activities. The continent is also a source of significant cyber attacks targeting the rest of the world.

However, a number of measures have been taken to address cyber-threats and improve cybersecurity in the continent. Many countries in the continent have developed legislation to fight cyber-threats. This includes strengthening of security institutions to counter the menace.

It was reported in the Wednesday edition of The Point, where the Fraud Squad of The Gambia Police Force (GPF) is currently investigating the alleged hacking on Trust Bank Gambia Ltd. So far 12 arrests have been effected in connection with the hacking.

It is scary to reveal that at the moment; cybercriminals see Africa as a safe haven to operate illegally with impunity. Most of network of cybercriminals often use these unprotected computers to launch cyberattacks against targets all over the world.

It is high time government departments and private institutions and online businesses put in place stricter measures and ensure proper security of their data from outside infiltration.

The advent of high speed internet and technological advancements has its advantages and disadvantages. And cybercrime is one of the disadvantages posed by this technological advancement.

However, lack of skills among Internet users to protect themselves from this rapidly rising cyber-threats is another concern. Just like in other developing countries, many African online computer users are inexperienced and not technically savvy. A high proportion of them are getting computers and connecting to the Internet.

Experts believe that the continent faces a severe shortage of cybersecurity manpower. It is estimated that Africa will have a shortage of 100,000 cybersecurity personnel by 2020.

In today’s world, the reality is that all individuals and organizations connected to the internet are vulnerable to cyber-attack. The number, type and sophistication of attacks continue to grow and vary in nature.

It is high time people and institutions change their modus operandi in order to prevent cyber-attacks. There has to be a fundamental understanding that, when online, everyone is a target and that none of us are too small or unimportant.

“Government never adapts quickly to new challenges, but our slow-footedness on cyber is unparalleled.”

Ben Sasse

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