- In 2020, 25% of Kaspersky private users in South Africa, 40% in Kenya and 38% in Nigeria were attacked by such threats
There is a common misconception that the most dangerous threats to encounter on modern users’ digital journeys are likely to appear during Internet surfing.
The reality however, based on the most recent analysis of cyberattacks in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria within 2020 by Kaspersky experts demonstrates that users are in fact more likely to face malware related attacks hidden within their devices.
Such threats are classified as ‘local’, which means they are detected either on users’ devices or on portable data storage devices, such as flash drives. In 2020, 25% of Kaspersky private users in South Africa, 40% in Kenya and 38% in Nigeria were attacked by such threats. To provide a comparison, web attacks only affected 9% of users in South Africa, 11% in Kenya and 8% in Nigeria.
When looking at corporate users in these regions, the numbers are similar: 23% of corporate users in South Africa, 29% in Kenya and 35% in Nigeria encountered such local threats within 2020.
Unfortunately, there has been an increase in the sophistication of such threats – which may be hiding on the user’s device within a seemingly legitimate file for a while, to fly under the radar, and only strike later.
“The cyber threat landscape across Africa is constantly evolving,” says Denis Parinov, a cybersecurity expert at Kaspersky. “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. Nowadays, most of the web-threats “stays in browser”: they specialise in content replacement, browser locking or clickjacking, online-skimming, cookie stuffing, etc.
“Now the situation when a user could download a malicious file directly is not too often. It’s more common for a malware to be disguised as something else to hide from the security solutions, remaining an unseen threat to users. The good news however is that modern security solutions are too advanced for such malware to fly under radars – it is more likely to be blocked either during the initial scan of the file by a security solution that happens by default, or within the very moment such programs attempt to launch.”
To protect against cyber threats including malware, Kaspersky recommends keeping to the following guidelines:
- 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 important 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 (https://bit.ly/3168MCA)
In addition, companies are encouraged to provide training to improve cyber literacy among their employees. For example, the automated platform Kaspersky ASAP (https://bit.ly/3cZ8frF) helps to develop safe behaviour skills and form sustainable cybersecurity habits. The solution allows the company to assess the current knowledge of an employee in the field of cybersecurity, and in accordance with this, determine the set of skills that the employee needs, depending on job duties and risk profile, and build a timetable for the program.
MTN Nigeria Tasks Accountants on IoT as Panacea for Pandemic
MTN Nigeria has urged accountants in Nigeria to embrace Internet of Things (IoT) and go digital even as the profession is challenged by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
The chief transformation officer, MTN Nigeria, Olubayo Adekanmbi said stated this while speaking at the 50th annual Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) conference held from April 5 – 9, 2021 at the Abuja International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.
This year’s event themed “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Boom for the Accounting Profession and Panacea for the Pandemic” hosts over 7,500 local and foreign delegates. The hybrid event (physical and virtual attendance) was streamed to participants who were unable to attend the event physically due to limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adekanmbi said, “We at MTN Nigeria are so proud to be identified with this honorable profession and we are glad that we are helping to drive this conversation. This is our way of ensuring that in the wake of the pandemic, practising professionals remain up to date and add value to our nation in a changing world.”
Delivering his presentation on the importance of IoT in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Adekanmbi stated that “With IoT, things that takes us years in our auditing, asset tracking and efficiency can be fast-tracked and accelerated. IoT allows you to reduce operational costs because you can track anything, everything, everywhere and you can serve your customers readily.”
“For IoT to work, there are certain things that are critical because it is one device talking to another device. It means that you need an internet that is super powered and that is what broadband does effectively. MTN Nigeria has one of the fastest, accelerated broadband quality in Nigeria. A few months ago, through the honorable minister, we were able to test 5G in Nigeria.
“These are the enabling infrastructure we are already experimenting in Nigeria. Once again, through the honorable minister, we experimented with what is called E-Sim, this means you no longer need a physical sim on your phone, you can virtualize your sim. We can say that Nigeria is on the path to start enjoying the benefits of the possibility of the Fourth Industrial Revolution based on superior policy support we have enjoyed,” he added.
Nigerian Banks Lift USSD Restriction As MTN Reverts Back To 4.5% Commission
- Extends Partnership with Fintechs
MTN Nigeria, commercial banks and aggregators have agreed to revert back to the old commission formula for airtime vending on unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) and banking app channels.
The three parties have reverted back to the old 4.5 per cent commission charged for airtime vending through USSD and other banking channels. They reached for each other jugular over an impromptu reduction in the commission rate from 4.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent which too k effect on Thursday April 1, 2021.
At virtual meeting held yesterday by the chief executive officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Karl Toriola; the group CEO of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe who is also the chairman of the Body of Bank CEOs in Nigeria; Group CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje as well as MTN Nigeria’s chief financial officer, Modupe Kadri, they agreed to revert back to status quo ante of 4.5 per cent commission on USSD airtime.
MTN CEO, Toriola and addressed to Wigwe which was a follow-up on the virtual stated that, “In an attempt to resolve the current USSD impasse, given the intervention of our regulators, we hereby agree that the banks revert back to the status quo of 4.5 per cent commission.
“However, the banks and MTN Nigeria Plc shall sit to agree on various options that will result in the costs on 6th of April 2021.” The letter was copied to the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the NCC.
Elaborating further, he said in another statement that “the document was issued by me to the banks on the specific intervention of the CBN Governor and the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy. MTN’s intention has always been geared towards business optimization to the benefit of our customers and indeed the country.
“This is evidenced by the fact that through the USSD imbroglio, we never denied access to our customers. In the current case, customers have been denied access to services by the banks despite having monies in their accounts to purchase those services. MTN will naturally do all it can to minimise customer pain. It is not just about revenue for us.
“The good of our customers influence every decision we take. The CBN Governor’s intervention is in line with our core values. We acceded to his request and that of our Minister. We will continue to live our values that ‘everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the operator with over 70 million subscribers said it will continue to engage Fintechs to vend airtime. According to Funso Aina, Snr. Manager, External Relations, MTN, the links to access the various alternative platforms include:
1. MTN On Demand is on *904# and also via https://mtnondemand.flutterwave.com;
2. Barter By Flutter Wave is an app that can be downloaded here: http://tosto.re/getbarter;
3. Jumia Pay (app);
4. OPay (app);
5. MTN Xtratime airtime loans (*606#);
6. Carbon (app);
7. Kuda (app);
8. BillsnPay (web https://www.billsnpay.com/. They also have an app);
9. myMTN Web http://mymtn.com.ng;
10. Momo agent *223#
The Apps can be downloaded from the Playstore and the Appstore.
WizKid and Burna Boy Emerge Most Streamed Artists on Spotify in Nigeria
On February 23rd, more than 70 million songs, 2.2 million podcast titles, and over four billion playlists became officially available to Spotify listeners in Nigeria for free.
Spotify launched with a tailored music experience for Africa with more than 100 expertly curated playlists across some of the most popular genres in the continent. But what got the fans listening?
The first 30 days demonstrated how much Nigerian listeners love their home-grown artists. Four out of the top five most-streamed artists are from Nigeria. Topping the list are the country’s beloved superstars: WizKid, Burna Boy, DaVido, and Rema.
Local hits are also resonating the most with Nigerian listeners. The most-streamed track in Nigeria over the past month is “Bounce” by Rema, followed by Wizkid and Burna Boy’s “Ginger” and DaVido and Teni’s “FOR YOU”.
With a strong appetite for local sounds, it comes as no surprise that Hot Hits Naija is one of the top-streamed playlists among users. Spotify’s Africa to the world playlist African Heat comes in second reflecting listeners’ keenness to discover music from all over the continent.
Podcast listening may be a relatively new trend in Nigeria, but it is fast gaining momentum among Nigerians. In the last month, the most popular podcast on Spotify is “I Said What I Said,” with “Kwality Kontent” coming in second. “TED Talks Daily” came in third, followed by “Articulate One” and “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: Ears Edition” in fourth and fifth position respectively.
Residents of Lagos, Suleja, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Benin City account for the most Spotify streams in Nigeria.
So how did the first month of Spotify in Nigeria sound?
- WizKid feat. Burna Boy – Ginger
- DaVido, Teni – FOR YOU
- Olamide, Omah Lay – Infinity
- DaVido, Focalistic, Virgo Deep – Ke Star – Remix
Most popular playlists:
- I Said What I Said
- Kwality Kontent
- TED Talks Daily
- Articulate One
- The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: Ears Edition
Cities with most streams on Spotify:
- Port Harcourt
- Benin City
Data based on Spotify user consumption between February 23 and March 22, 2021.
Download the Spotify app via the Android or iOS app store or by heading to www.spotify.com – to embed Spotify into a website – right click on any playlist, go to ‘share’ and copy embed code.
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