Online Crime Surge Q1 – Cybercrime

South Africa Cybercrime Surges in Q1 2024

South Africa continues to buckle under the weight of rising cybercrimes, with the latest reports indicating that the country’s victim count increased by 107% between Q2 2023 and Q1 2024.

These revelations come on the back of similar worries across the African continent, which is seeing a rapid rise in cyberattacks as online attacks in other regions start to stabilise. 

Let’s take a closer look at the data and find out why Africa has found itself in the crosshairs of cybercriminals once again this year.

Hackers play catch-up in Africa this year

According to a report by cybersecurity group Check Point which documents incidence of cybercrime in regions around the world, the African continent is experiencing a huge increase in online criminal events.

The rise in incidents is alarming even though the total number of attacks in regions like Europe and North America are far higher in absolute terms. 

  • Africa saw a 20% rise in cybercrime incidents in Q1 2024. On the other hand, Latin America saw a 20% drop over the same period. 
  • Government and military targets remain hugely popular among cybercriminals, increasing the prospect of service disruption and the destabilising potential of these attacks. 

This seemingly contradictory trend makes more sense in the context of pure numbers versus percentages. 

Considering that Africa has traditionally lagged behind other countries in terms of internet penetration and online business, the continent’s recent digitisation has probably made it a prime target for cybercriminals.  

Hackers who are finding it more difficult to increase their rate of attacks in developed regions which have invested heavily in cyber security may have discovered easy pickings in Africa this year. 

Now is the time to invest in cybersecurity 

Overall, it would appear that Africa is facing a surge in cybercrimes similar to the one experienced by its more developed peers 5 to 10 years ago. 

The continent may be struggling to respond due to its traditionally lower emphasis on cybersecurity. However, companies in South Africa and across the continent can reverse this situation by investing in the latest cyber defences to bring their security levels in line with those of European and North American businesses.

Some of the key components of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy include:

  • The basics. Reliable firewalls and updated antivirus software will set the stage for improved data security.
  • User and permission management using the latest multifactor authentication and identity verification will help ensure that unauthorised users can’t gain access to your network.
  • Secure data storage. Encrypted backup and storage cloud storage for sensitive documents and files is one of the surest ways to have a working copy of every essential document in the worst-case scenario. 

At Soteria we pride ourselves on making secure cloud storage available to households and businesses of all sizes. Protect your valuable data today with our range of encrypted cloud data storage packages.