Widely, it’s a commonly accepted notion that surfing the web poses dangerous security threats to users. While that is not totally out of the way, it might not be entirely accurate in some cases. This is shown by recent data from security company Kaspersky, which analysed cyberattacks in Kenya last year.
Kaspersky’s recent reports found out that users are more likely to encounter malware-based attacks hidden in their devices. These devices include personal devices like smartphones and even portable data storage devices like flash drives.
This malware stays on a user device for a while as a legitimate file, only to strike later, hence considered local threats.
“It’s more common for malware to be disguised as something else to hide from the security solutions, remaining an unseen threat to users,” says Denis Parinov, a cybersecurity expert at Kaspersky. Continued advancement in modern security solutions, however, ensures that these hidden threats are eliminated.
Last year, Kaspersky found out, such threats attacked 25% of its private users in South Africa, 40% in Kenya and 38% in Nigeria. Web threats were considerably lower across the three countries – 9% in South Africa, 11% in Kenya and 8% in Nigeria.
On the corporate side, 23% of Kaspersky’s users in South Africa, 29% in Kenya and 35% in Nigeria encountered such local threats in the same period.
“The cyber threat landscape across Africa is constantly evolving,” Denis Parinov says.
“A few years ago, there were much more drive-by attacks – cases when different malicious software is downloaded and being run while the user simply browses the Internet.”
The company also noted an increase in sophistication of such threats.
To protect against cyber threats, including malware, the security company recommends the following;
- Do not follow dubious links from letters, messages in instant messengers or SMS
- Regularly install updates for the operating system and applications
- Install applications only from official stores
- Use complex and different passwords for accounts
- Regularly copy essential data from your device to the cloud, to a USB flash drive or hard drive
- Do not give applications access to those functions that they do not need
- Install a reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Internet Security