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Kaspersky Calls for a More ‘Secure’ Payment Ecosystem as Digital Threats Hit 37% of Nigerians

Financial threats continue to claim an extraordinary number of victims year after year. Cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky reveals the extent of the problem in Nigeria and how the issue causes more than just financial issues for users.

Around 37 per cent of respondents from Nigeria have experienced financial losses related to threats encountered when using online banking and mobile wallet services. Ninety-seven per cent of respondents lost $1,000 or less as a result of these threats. Another three per cent reported even greater losses.

Kaspersky revealed that it blocked 161,272 financial threats in Nigeria in 2022. It revealed that most attacks were aimed at stealing financial information such as credit card numbers and login credentials. Attacks were found to generally rely on social engineering tactics to lure in their victims.

Kaspersky’s Digital Payment survey also revealed how cyber attacks targeting digital payment can do damage beyond a user’s bank balance. A majority of respondents that had been affected had experienced some kind of negative physiological impact. Sixty per cent of respondents from Nigeria explained that they were very anxious about getting their money back.

Forty-three per cent of users also reported that they now have less trust in digital payment providers. Meanwhile, a significant proportion (80 per cent) stated they became more vigilant after experiencing a cyber incident. Sixty-five per cent revealed they installed security solutions, such as an antivirus on their infected devices.

Emad Haffar, Kaspersky threats survey
Emad Haffar, head of technical experts at Kaspersky

Emad Haffar, head of technical experts at Kaspersky, discussed the survey’s findings. Haffar said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, 64 per cent of users in Nigeria faced at least one incident when using digital payments. That’s why it’s increasingly important to know how to interact securely with any emerging technologies, including online banking and mobile wallet services.

All stakeholders, like government, digital payment providers, users and even cybersecurity companies need to come together to create a sustainable and secure payment ecosystem.”

Keeping users safe

Kaspersky experts suggested a number of tips that could help keep users safe when using digital payment technologies.

  • Do not share any PINs, passwords, or any other financial information with anyone online or offline
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi to make any online transactions
  • Use a separate credit or debit card to make online transactions
  • Set a spending limit on the card which can help keep a track of financial transactions
  • Shop from trusted and official websites

Kaspersky also made recommendations for developers, banks and companies involved in providing digital payment services for protecting users against financial threats. The cybersecurity provider highlighted the importance of investing in holistic cybersecurity solutions that detect fraud across multiple levels of online payment processes and consumer touchpoints.

Because complex attacks by APT groups on financial institutions are also on a rise, Kaspersky has urged businesses to ensure in-depth visibility and threat intelligence to keep customers protected and ensure business continuity.

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