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Africa faces 100k-person gap of certified cyber security talent

By , Africa editor
Kenya , Zambia , 30 Jun 2023
David Behr, Liquid C2 CEO.
David Behr, Liquid C2 CEO.

Africa faces a growing 100 000-person gap in the number of certified cyber security professionals.

This is according to the latest cyber security report by Liquid C2: 'The Evolving Cyber Security Landscape in Africa 2022'.

Cassava Technologies-owned Liquid C2 released the report yesterday, saying there are only 7 000 certified cyber security professionals, or one for every 177 000 people on the continent.

However, Liquid says: “This number may disguise the true magnitude of the problem as there is no readily available data on the level of investment made by African governments into cyber security.”

The report underlines the increasing need for companies to invest in cyber security measures to avoid reputational damage, financial loss and potential business interruptions.

Liquid notes that cyber attacks on businesses in Kenya, SA and Zambia increased by 76% last year.

Kenyan businesses reported an 82% increase in such attacks, while South African businesses recorded a 62% increase and Zambian businesses a 62% surge.

The report features research, analysis and findings across the three countries on the evolving cyber security threats present in Africa, and it shows cyber attacks against all large enterprises ramped up dramatically.

The top method of attack used by cyber criminals targeting companies was through e-mail, using phishing or spam attacks (61%), with attacks through compromised passwords following at 48% and data breaches and attacks (44%) being the second and third most common, respectively.

Sixty-one percent of the companies included in the research said the breaches to their operations occurred as a result of remote or hybrid working.

"The biggest concern emerging from this report is that companies are saying they've put a lot more cyber security controls in place. With threats evolving faster than security systems, companies cannot afford to get complacent," says David Behr, CEO of Liquid C2.

He adds: "The report highlights that businesses must be consistently vigilant about the ever-evolving cyber crime landscape and the methods malicious actors use to breach cyber security measures. As the report shows, complacency is a luxury no one can afford."

Notwithstanding the increase in attacks, Liquid C2 says there are reasons to be optimistic, as all the respondents in the report highlighted they had advanced significantly in their cloud and digital strategies and cyber security capabilities.

Furthermore, it says the majority (68%) of the companies interviewed in the research had appointed cyber security staff members or signed up with a cyber security team in the past year.

Kenya had the highest percentage at 82%, followed by SA (63%) and Zambia (62%).

Behr comments: “The research highlights that over half of all large enterprises in the three countries were victims of a successful cyber attack, with 90% of them being Kenyan businesses.

“Increasingly sophisticated methods like cyber crime as a service are becoming more popular in Africa, meaning businesses can no longer rely on outdated technologies and processes.

“It is time they invested in a partner that provides 24/7/365 protection, rapid response, threat intelligence and prevention, compliance and improved business reputation, all designed to cater to the specific needs of businesses.”

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