COVID-19 Cybersecurity Fintech Middle East & Africa

Africa Remains Riddled With Malware; Kaspersky Data Suggests

The use of malware remains rife across the African continent; according to the recently released research of the Russian cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky.

The data, which has documented the state of cybersecurity across the African continent, has highlighted how various African nations exhibited strong growth in all types of malware during the first half of 2021, when compared to the same period last year.

This records a 5% increase in the region, as cybercriminals and hackers continue to focus on African countries considering digital transformation advancements and the increase in remote working resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overall, 4 countries account for 85 million attacks, with South Africa being the most targetted (32 million attacks), followed by Kenya (28.3 million), Nigeria (16.7 million), and Ethiopia (8 million).

Aside from Kenya, whose number of attacks decreased by 13%, all countries experienced relative growth of malware attacks. Ethiopia and Nigeria have seen an increase of 20% and 23% respectively, whilst South Africa encountered an increase of 14%.

“Even though the scourge of malware has always been of concern, the past 12-months have highlighted how hackers are refocusing their efforts to compromise consumer and corporate systems and gain access to critical data and information.

Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Sales Manager, Kaspersky Africa
Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Sales Manager, Kaspersky Africa

“Given the growth of digital transformation across Africa since last year, the continent has become an attractive target for those looking to exploit a lack of user education and cybersecurity understanding. This has contributed to a large number of personal devices still not having any form of cybersecurity software installed,” comments Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Sales Manager at Kaspersky in Africa.

“Malware can get onto a device in several ways. For example, clicking on an infected link or advert, opening an attachment in a spam email, or downloading a compromised app. This means proactive malware protection is essential to safeguard individual users and corporates against these threats,” adds Opil.

Following the release of their findings, Kaspersky is recommending the following practices to better the rate of malware protection:

  • Install anti-virus software on every device that connects to the Internet.
  • Only download applications from trusted sites. Even then, always check the app permissions and, if certain things do not make sense, do not install the programme.
  • Never click on unverified links especially when coming from suspected spam emails, messages, or suspicious-looking websites.
  • Keeping operation systems and applications always updated with the latest patches.


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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