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    We’ve been hearing much about how Africa is rapidly catching up with the rest of the world in terms of the Internet. More and more Africa-based users are now connecting to the Internet, giving them a great resource for information and an easier means for communication. Unfortunately, as more users in Africa become connected to the Internet, they become just as susceptible as the rest of the world to online threats.

    In our recently released forecasts for 2013, Raimund mentioned how Africa will become the new haven for cybercriminals. I have done some research on Africa (which I will release soon), and I very much agree with that forecast. Here are three reasons why:

    1. Great Internet availability and fast connections
      The Internet infrastructure in Africa, supported by undersea cables, is very well developed. As of now, the different ISPs in Africa are able to offer a variety of connection to their customers such as 3G, 4G LTE, dial-up, DSL, fiber and even satellite connection. The availability of such a resource as stable and fast Internet connectivity will surely be considered valuable by cybercriminals.
    2. Number of Internet users increasing rapidly
      Of course, as connecting to the Internet becomes easier, more and more people are being drawn to it, most especially to social networking sites like Facebook. More Internet users will mean more potential victims for cybercriminals, especially since new users are most likely still unaware of the common security practices.
    3. Lack of cyber laws in some countries
      The lack of cyber laws in certain countries in Africa may help cybercriminials operate their schemes from there. Some countries may have cyber laws already in place, but may provide very limited help in terms of actual prosecution.

    I will be able to give more information that will give us a clear idea of the current situation in Africa, as well as what we can expect from the region in the next three years when I release my paper. For now, it is safe to assume that developments in the African threat landscape are something that we need to watch out for not only in the coming year, but up to 2015.

    You can also check out the rest of our 2013 predictions in Raimund’s entry, Trend Micro Predictions for 2013 and Beyond: Threats to Business, the Digital Lifestyle, and the Cloud.

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    • Manny

      Very interesting! I have also been tracking the number of systems visible on the Internet in some West African Countries for the past 2 years. There has been a sharp rise in this number over the past 10 months, which gives credence to the submission that Africa is fast catching up.


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