With Kaspersky (africa.Kaspersky.com) research showing that stalkerware affected one out of every 100 mobile users in Kenya and Nigeria in 2020 and malware every four out of 100 in South Africa, consumers must remain vigilant when it comes to their online activities if they are to keep themselves safe from the growing threat of cyberattacks.
“Even though these numbers might seem low, especially when it comes to stalkerware, it bears mentioning that this form of attack is focused on specific individuals. So, unlike general malware that is distributed on a massive scale, stalkerware is a more personal crime that has life and death consequences for the individual affected, for example a perpetrator can track down their estranged partner with ill intentions, or human trafficking rings targeting children,” says Lehan van den Heever, Enterprise Cyber Security Advisor for Kaspersky in Africa.
Amongst other things, stalkerware can enable the perpetrator to track a victim’s location, read their messages, view their photos and videos, eavesdrop on telephone conversations, and see everything typed on the keypad.
“Our research shows that almost 54 000 (https://bit.ly/3xx8x2h) users globally were affected by stalkerware apps in 2020. The fact that these are growing momentum in Africa should be cause for concern. And even though South Africa has not been affected by these attacks yet, it is only a matter of time before mobile users in the country start experiencing the dangers of stalkerware,” he says.
To help combat this, Kaspersky released the TinyCheck (https://bit.ly/3xuBYCe) tool designed to find stalkerware without its operator knowing. It has recently been updated to help uncover all types of geo-tracking apps that identify people’s movements using their GPS data.
“Over and above the threat of stalkerware, our research shows that malware and adware, although again rather low, still remain cyberthreats that we urge users in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria to be cognisant of and protect against,” adds van den Heever.
Kaspersky’s analysis of mobile threats in 2020 shows that in Kenya 7% of users were affected by malware, and 13% by adware. In Nigeria, the situation is similar, also showing that 7% of users were impacted by malware and 17% by adware. In South Africa, 4% of users were targeted with malware and 7% with adware.
“While we advocate that mobile users must protect their devices with a strong password, they should also never leave their phones unattended. Furthermore, it is important to block the installation of apps from third-party sources in their device settings and install a reliable mobile antivirus solution that detects and warns them about stalkerware and other malware. Lastly, do not click on links in spam emails,” concludes van den Heever.
Uber launches Uber Connect and UberX Hourly in Nigeria
At the Go Get global consumer virtual event, Uber announced Uber Connect and Uber Hourly will be available in Nigeria in the next few months.
Tope Akinwumi, Uber’s country manager for Nigeria explains: “We want to bring innovations designed to help people get anywhere and get anything as cities start to move again. As we want to show our commitment to improving the lives of Nigerians, and more importantly, unlocking access to earning opportunities for drivers, we believe this announcement is a step in the right direction.”
On-demand, point-to-point trips
Hourly is an alternative to on-demand, point-to-point trips that will provide riders added convenience with no need to re-book their ride. From a trip from the office to the pharmacy to the supermarket to home, riders can use their time as they wish without having to request multiple one-way trips with different drivers when running an errand or getting things done.
“Hourly already launched in several cities around the world including Dar es Salaam and based on those insights and the warm reception from both riders and drivers, we’re excited to bring this to Nigeria. We built this feature for those moments when you anticipate you’ll need extra time getting things done, and so drivers can access a meaningful earnings opportunity while “locking in” an upfront time frame for the service provided.” adds Akinwumi.
A quick and affordable way to send packages
Uber Connect can help communities stay connected during the health crisis. Leveraging Uber’s logistics technology and network, Uber Connect provides people with a quick and affordable way to send packages to friends and family using the Uber app.
Akinwumi explains, “The agility of our platform allows us to quickly adapt our products to meet the evolving needs of communities impacted by the health crisis while experimenting with new revenue streams and earning opportunities for drivers.”
Uber Connect is already available in Ghana, South Africa and Kenya, including other countries across the globe.
Providing a trusted solution to ensure riders can run errands and send packages affordably while introducing unique and flexible economic opportunities for drivers will not only support a struggling economy, but create opportunity for growth, both now and in the future.
Uber’s responsibility doesn’t end at merely providing this service and have kept safety in mind by providing relevant health information with drivers to ensure they are well-trained in COVID-19 related safety protocols and have been provided with hand sanitisers for use during trips. Uber will announce further details on Uber Connect and UberX Hourly closer to the launch date.
Kaspersky Partners DataGroupIT to Strengthen Nigeria and Ghana IT Security Footprints
As part of its strategy to grow its business in West Africa, Kaspersky has partnered with value-added distributor DataGroupIT who will provide the global cybersecurity company with access to new markets in Nigeria and Ghana.
“DataGroupIT is a well-known distributor in Africa with a clear value-add when it comes to generating focused business growth, especially in the enterprise segment. It also has the capacity to support the Kaspersky business logistically and provide valuable technical expertise on Kaspersky solutions,” says Lehan van den Heever, Enterprise Cyber Security Advisor for Kaspersky in Africa.
DataGroupIT has more than 1 000 clients in over 15 Sub-Saharan African countries with its professional teams delivering exceptional sales, pre-sale, logistic, marketing, and financial support.
The partnership between the two organisations will further enhance Kaspersky’s rapidly expanding footprint in Africa. It is designed to empower customers to leverage Kaspersky’s knowledge, market intelligence, and world-class cyber security professionals with best-in-class local market support.
“West Africa is becoming a major focus for Kaspersky. The agreement with DataGroupIT will see Kaspersky gain access to new verticals in this region while helping new and existing customers build their cybersecurity strategy. It also puts Kaspersky in a position to work with major regulators to elevate the digital protection threshold across the region,” says van den Heever.
Amir Shtarkman, VP Business Development at DataGroupIT says; “Our partnership with Kaspersky is an excellent fit for our growing product portfolio, and our ‘6 pillar model’. Kaspersky is an experienced vendor and a leader on their product portfolio. Their offerings will enable our customers across the region to realise the benefits of cybersecurity and, in particular, endpoint protection and cyber intelligence. DataGroupIT has a wealth of experience in the cybersecurity market in Africa, and we are looking forward to growing the Kaspersky business with this partnership.”
With the DataGroupIT partnership in place, Kaspersky plans to replicate the success it has observed in other African regions.
“This expansion will help move the maturity of cyber defence tools and processes in West Africa to a new level especially at a time when organisations and consumers are adapting to a new distributed working environment that creates the potential for additional cyber risk,” concludes van den Heever.
Safeguard Your Business Against Internal Fraud
According to the recently released SNG Grant Thornton’s Sub-Saharan Fraud survey, 60% of respondents cited that employees are currently the biggest threat to their businesses when it comes to fraud, with 77% expecting this to increase in 2021.
As such, it is vital for companies to implement ways to safeguard their businesses from internal fraud, especially in light of employees working from home as a result of COVID-19, with this trend set to continue throughout the pandemic and beyond.
It is for this reason that Zecurion, a vendor of the Next Generation Data Loss Prevention (DLP), released the new version of its foremost solution, Zecurion DLP 11. This introduces a new level of effective detection of internal fraud and risk-based data loss prevention in the context of massive remote work. The solution includes several brand-new modules: Staff Control, Screen Photo Detector, Incident Workflow Automation, and risk-based User Behavior Analytics (UBA).
“Our aim is to understand the processes behind employee fraud and abuse, insider threats, and human mistakes. We then investigate solutions to combat this,” says Alexey Raevsky, CEO and Co-founder at Zecurion. “As such, our new solution makes an impressive leap in DLP development.”
“Traditional systems protect communication channels and devices, preventing sensitive data from being sent outside the network perimeter,” explains Raevsky. “However, added to this we have included advanced control, analytic and intelligence capabilities to identify whether user behavior is abnormal. This is done via the Next Generation DLP offering that essentially improves the internal security posture of organizations compared to classic DLP solutions.”
Raevsky outlines the top ways to mitigate employee fraud and how these are implemented using Next Generation DLP solutions:
Keep track of employees: Zecurion Staff Control was added as a separate module to Zecurion DLP 11. Staff Control records working hours via automatically generated timesheets, logs employees’ actions including the websites they visited and applications that were run, and evaluates employees’ efficiency. The module checks the activities of personnel for compliance with corporate standards and safety policies. This is then reported in a table with fast filters, groups, and data from up to tens of thousands of PCs.
Prevent employees from photographing their screens: This unique AI-based feature changes the game, stopping the insiders that were previously not being able to be caught. Now, whenever someone tries to photograph a screen with a smartphone, Zecurion DLP immediately detects it via webcam and blocks the computer. The revolutionary technology uses two neural networks to ensure reliable smartphone detection and flags cybersecurity incidents in a blink of an eye (from 0.06 seconds).
Screen watermarks prevent data loss: The security officer can set watermarks with the name of a user, PC, and date over certain windows (e.g. MS Office, CRM, and others). This feature effectively prevents data loss, as users can initially see the watermarks with their name and understand the aftermath.
Investigation Workflow Automation: This module simplifies investigations and shortens the incident response cycle. It minimizes the cybersecurity team’s workload by providing a 360° view of actual tasks with all the statuses, data on the investigation stage, executants, and deadlines. During the investigation, cybersecurity team members can leave comments on the task and discuss progress with other participants (from CISO to analyst), as well as attach documents and incidents as proof.
User Behavior Analytics: After installation of Zecurion DLP 11, each employee undergoes behavior analysis within at least one week. The solution collects data on various parameters: risks, behavior profiles, work time and connections. UBA then compares current employees’ parameters with their average values. A sharp deviation may signal a potential threat to information security or indicate a compromise of user credentials.
Investigate connections between internal and external users: The improved, interactive user connection diagram is extremely helpful during investigations as it displays connections between internal users and external contacts. In version 11 the security officer can customize it with a legend, quick filters, and display of up to 1000 objects at a time.
Analyze communications between two users: This integrative report simplifies the analysis of communications between two users by displaying all messages from different messengers (Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.) in one chat-like window. This window looks like your favorite messenger, allowing you to read all captured messages, files, listen to audio messages and calls from a single point.
“As employee fraud is expected to increase, it is vital for businesses to implement the necessary solutions to ensure their operations are protected in 2021 and beyond,” concludes Raevsky.
Creating a Secure Culture
Invest in the technology, embed the security, but don’t forget that people are your most important asset
Security. This is a word that can make a grown CFO tremble and an entire SOC crumble. It is the word that captures a complex landscape littered with complexity, cybercriminals and technology.
It defines how well an organisation adheres to a growing body of legislation – GDPR, POPIA and other data protection regulations – and how its reputation fares when a breach is revealed and information exposed. Security should be on every boardroom agenda, in ongoing employee training, and in investment into the right tools and solutions.
But, perhaps most importantly, security should be an inherent part of the company’s culture because it is this factor that ultimately determines its security risk and posture.
“There is a clear link between security culture and secure behaviour and that, in itself, correlates to a clear reduction in risk for the organisation,” says Anna Collard, SVP Content Strategy and Evangelist, KnowBe4 Africa. “By improving your security culture, you are immediately improving employee behaviour and potentially plugging one of the biggest security gaps in every business – people.
People are often the weakest link. The ones who click on the link, who open the phishing email, who share their company passwords and who accidentally create vulnerabilities within the organisation.”
A recent study undertaken by KnowBe4 examined the behaviour and security culture of more than 97, 000 employees across 1, 115 organisations worldwide. The study dug down into the components and building blocks of security culture and unpacked how this has become a critical component for any robust security structure in a detailed whitepaper.
“IT leaders have always known exactly how important people are to the perfect security triumvirate – people, process and technology,” says Collard. “But, over the years, process and technology have been pushed to the forefront of investment and conversation, leaving the human element wide open and the business at risk.
The reason for this shift is multi-fold – it’s hard to engage with a diverse workforce and the security message is not always that exciting.”
Yet, the research found a very clear proof that a robust security culture reduces the risk of credential sharing and improves the entire organisation’s security posture. In fact, it found that there was a 52x difference between the behaviours of people sharing credentials in a poor security class and the best which highlighted how a focus on security culture can significantly change the way employees adopt secure practices and behaviours.
Which again underscores the value of setting up a security culture programme that explores the seven dimensions of security culture and how these can be improved within the organisation.
These seven dimensions include: attitude, behaviour, cognition, compliance, communication, norms and responsibility. And they provide the organisation with a solid framework within which to build an equally solid security culture that has longevity and relevance.
“The more that the business focuses on security culture, the more likely it is that employees will follow secure practices and adopt more secure behaviours,” concludes Collard. “This ground breaking research has provided a very clear and measurable link between security culture and secure behaviour and emphasises the value of investing into people, training and security communication best practice to ensure that this link is always maintained.”
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