Africa-Press – Eritrea. The number of cyber threats more than doubled in the current financial year starting July 2021, data from Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) shows.
The Authority reported an all time high of 359.2 million threats, a 133 per cent increase from 154.4 million recorded in FY2020-21 and 110.9 in 2019.
The growing threat has been attributed to increase in users accessing the internet, creating a larger pool of targets for online criminals.
In the last two years, Kenya has increased digital adoption as there was significant shifts in how Kenyans operate online.
These shifts included remote working, increased adoption of the gig economy, adoption of online and hybrid learning, increased uptake of e-commerce and increased uptake of video conferencing applications.
During the same period, there was a jump in the use of social media as Kenyans adopted more digitized forms of entertainment and business.
While these changes have accelerated Kenya’s digital transformation, they have also increased vulnerability online, with cyber criminals leveraging on these shifts to exploit loopholes in these tools and platforms.
Consequently, there was a surge in phishing attacks, data breaches,fake news, ransomware, impersonation, false publications, incitement, online fraud, cyber bullying and harassment.
According to CAK third-quarter data, between January to March 79.2 million attacks occurred.
This prompted the government to issue 28,848 advisories in attempt to curb the rising attacks.
The Economic Survey 2022 unveiled on Thursday also shows that out of the cyber threats reported last year, system vulnerabilities had the highest increment from 114,675 to 58 million.
Vulnerabilities within an operating system can occur when a program code allows a computer virus to access the device and take control.
From the government report, cyber criminals mostly targeted healthcare systems, utility providers and public infrastructure last year.
Insurance firms, schools, government organizations and financial institutions were also on the radar of hacktivists.
CAK president Ezra Chiloba said there is an urgent need for the country to evaluate its collective national cyber readiness and resilience as a strategy in mitigating against the increasing threat posed by the evolving and dynamic cyber threat landscape.
He said the Authority is depending on the recently unveiled Cyber security Readiness and Resilience Measurement Tool to early detect cyber threats.
He said the tool assess the level of cyber security preparedness at both organizational and individual level.