Nigeria ranks 16th in global cybercrimes

Nigeria has been ranked 16th in global cybercrimes. Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, a software monitoring group, made the announcement in its latest quarterly ranking.

Mr Rick Rogers, the Area Manager of the group for East and West Africa, stated this in the 2016 first quarterly analysis of the global threat index released on Friday.

He said that Nigeria moved two steps up from 18th position in the fourth quarter of 2015.

According to him, the report reveals deep disparities in the threat environments in Africa.

It also showed potential for increased attacks as cyber-criminals target mobile devices.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Check Point is the largest global pure-play network cyber-security vendor and its Threat Index provides a data-based breakdown of new and prevalent threats.

“At the end of the first quarter of 2016 (January to March),” the report says, “Nigeria ranks 16th, among the highest ranked countries; moving up two places from 18th position in the preceding quarter.

“Developing and African nations are highly represented in the upper rankings of the index.

“Nigeria was surpassed by a handful of other African countries, including Namibia and Malawi in second and fourth spots respectively.

“In stark contrast, Kenya improved its ranking by 24 places, moving from 45th position at the end of 2015, to 69th at the end of the first quarter of 2016.”

Rogers urged individuals who run businesses off mobile devices and organisations that have a bring-your-own-device policy, on the need to prepare for this in their security strategy.

“It is necessary to apply the same level of security to mobile as required by traditional networks and PCs.

“Security professionals must have a coherent and over-arching threat management approach that addresses this.”

Rogers said that the previously-unknown HummingBad agent discovered in February, which target android devices, was a large contributor to the new top ten positioning of mobile threats.

According to him, HummingBad immediately becomes the seventh most common malware detected, targeting corporate networks and devices, and in March it moved up to the sixth top spot.

“HummingBad facilitates malicious activity such as installing a key-logger, stealing credentials and bypassing encrypted email containers used by companies, allow for interception of corporate data.

“It is the third highest threat in Kenya in Q1 and seventh in Nigeria.”

He said that Check Point identified more than 1,500 different malware families in January, 1,400 in February and 1,300 in March.

He added that throughout the quarter, the Conficker and Sality families were two of the most commonly used malware variants in the quarter, with Sality ranking first in both Nigeria and Kenya.

“The decrease in the variety of malware families reflects a concentration trend, rather than a decrease in absolute volume of threats.

“This is perhaps an indicator of the sophistication of the threat environment.

“Cyber criminals do not need to develop entirely new malware; rather it is often sufficient to make small changes to existing families to circumvent security.”

Source: News Express.

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