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BusinessDay

Businesses, governments cautioned on alarming rise in cybersecurity breaches

Tunde Hassan-Odukale, managing director/CEO, Leadway Assurance,has cautioned businesses and corporates of the overwhelming rise in cybersecurity risks and crucial steps to mitigate these unprecedented attacks.

A recent report by Kaspersky, a multinational cybersecurity and digital privacy company, revealed that the number of backdoor computer malware recorded in the second quarter of 2022 increased significantly across sub-Sahara Africa’s leading economic powerhouses, like South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, compared to the first quarter of the year.

A backdoor, one of the most dangerous types of malwares, provides cybercriminals with remote control of a victim’s machine. “Unlike legitimate remote administration utilities, backdoors install, launch and run invisibly, without the consent or knowledge of the user. Once installed, backdoors can be instructed to send, receive, execute, and delete files, harvest confidential data from the computer, log activity and more”, the report stated.

According to the report, South Africa recorded a quarter-on-quarter increase of 140 percent to 11,872 cases. Nigeria saw a rise of 83 percent, recording 2,624 cases. In Kenya, the number of detections increased by 53 percent to 10,300.

Speaking on the alarming rise in these cyber-attacks, Tunde Hassan-Odukale noted that every organisation is at risk of this menace as government agencies, non-government organisations (NGOs) and corporates have all been hit by the rising waves of cybercrime in Africa.

“The evolution in digital innovations and the COVID-19 pandemic have inspired businesses, NGOs and government agencies to adopt technology-driven operations, cloud computing, online capabilities, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to drive superior production, operational efficiencies and service delivery. As significantly positive as these new migrations have been, they also exposed corporates and organisations to the realities of the growing activities of sophisticated cybercriminals. As recent findings indicated, enterprises with less than 200 employees lose an average of $2.5 million (over N1bn) to cyberattacks. These new threats have become critical financial risks to organisations.

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“Recognising that cyber-attacks are significant risks to every business and organisation, irrespective of size and industry, it has become a top burner for organisations to put in place a solid financial recovery plan should an exposure occur. This is what has inspired the design of the Leadway Cyber-risk Insurance Policy. While this risk management tool does not guarantee immunity from attacks, it guarantees respite by offsetting costs incurred during a cyber-related security breach, ensuring accelerated businesses recovery after being hit by these gruesome attacks”, he said.

The Leadway Cyber-risk insurance policy, backed by a team of vastly experienced cyber-security experts, provides first-party coverage and third-party liability risk cover, assuring organisations of the needed financial support as victims of cyber-attacks.

Leadway Assurance is one of Nigeria’s foremost insurance service companies with a reputation for service efficiency and customer reliability. The organisation is committed to bridging the financial protection gap and increasing the insurance penetration rate in Nigeria.

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