Africa’s cyber security environment faces a unique combination of challenges, including a lack of awareness of the risks involved in using technology. Kenya was ranked the 69th most vulnerable country (out of 127) in the 2015 Deloitte Global Threat Index. Some of the main reasons were: low awareness, underinvestment, talent shortage and overload of data. Deloitte further estimates that Kenya lost $171 million to cybercrime in 2016.
Symantec, a global leader in cyber security, observed 24 million malware incidents targeting Africa in 2016. As some malware incidents probably go unobserved, the real number of incidents may be much higher. In a 2013 report from Symantec, cybercrime was increasing at a faster rate in Africa than any other region.
That’s why during the African Internet Summit – which has been running from the 30th of May and is to be concluded on the 2nd of June, 2017- the Internet Society and the African Union Commission unveiled a new set of Internet Infrastructure Security Guidelines for Africa. According to both organisations,the guidelines have been set to help Africa create a more secure Internet infrastructure and to change the way African Union States approach cyber security preparedness.
The guidelines – the first of their kind in Africa – were developed by a multi-stakeholder group of African and global internet infrastructure security experts, and are the first step towards building a more secure Internet in Africa
Dawit Bekele, Africa Regional Bureau Director for the Internet Society stated, “Africa has achieved major strides in developing its Internet Infrastructure in the past decade. However, the Internet won’t provide the aspired benefits unless we can trust it. We have seen from recent experiences that Africa is not immune from cyber-attacks and other security threats. These guidelines, developed in collaboration with the African Union Commission, will help African countries put in place the necessary measures to increase the security of their Internet infrastructure.”
Governments, companies, network operators, universities and organizations across African Union member states are encouraged to take action to implement the Internet Infrastructure Security Guidelines.
A copy of the Africa Internet Infrastructure Security Guidelines can be found here