Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda – together lost $3.5 billion to cyber crooks last year, a cyber security firm Serianu, has said.
Its Africa Cyber Security Report 2017 explained that the five African countries suffered damages and losses through post-attack disruptions.
“Further analysis of cyber crime for the countries: Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania was estimated at $3.5 billion a year, which includes direct damage and loss, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business and reputational loss,” the report said.
In the leading five countries, banking and financial services were most affected, losing $248 million during the period under review.
Government lost $204 million, while e-commerce, mobile-based transactions and telecommunications lost $173 million, $140 million and $119 million respectively.
The Project Leader at Cashless Kenya, Simon Muriithi, said this situation could limit the benefits of technology within the banking sector.
“For us, this is one of the biggest challenges in going digital in Kenya right now, but we have good security experts locally who can help banks bridge the gap,” Muriithi said.
Nigeria’s provider of shared platforms for financial transactions, the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) said the country’s payment system remained one of the most secured in the world.
Its Business Development, Niyi Ajao, however agreed that no matter the means of payment chosen, there is always the risk of losing cash if care is not taken.
He said: “Even if you go by cash, the risk of losing money is always there if you don’t apply by the basic security principles. If I put my cash inside my purse and I don’t keep my purse well, pick-pockets will pick it. So, for all these other new channels, including the mobile phone, it has its own risk but the beauty of it is that every customer, everyone that abides by the basic principles, would not lose money.
“For instance, with the mobile phone payment, even if you steal my phone, to complete a payment process you need my PIN (personal identification number).”
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