Read time: 3 minutes

Africa's cyber extortion increased by 100% in the last 12 months

By , Senior contributor
Africa , 04 Jul 2024
Africa joins worldwide’s alarming rise in cyber extortion attacks.
Africa joins worldwide’s alarming rise in cyber extortion attacks.

Africa's cyber extortion victims increased by an astounding 100% in the last 12 months.

Orange Cyberdefense, Orange Group's specialist arm dedicated to cybersecurity, released its newest cyber extortion report, Cy-Xplorer 2024, which shows a significant increase. 

The analysis evaluated data from 11,244 confirmed business victims worldwide who lose millions of dollars each year as a result of cyber extortion, such as ransomware and other cyber attacks. 

The findings show a global 77% year-on-year (YOY) increase in the number of observable cyber extortion (Cy-X) victims over the past 12 months, with analysis suggesting the actual number is 50-60% higher than what was directly observed, due to the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the crime. 

Orange Cyberdefense has been tracking cyber extortion behaviour since 2020 and has identified approximately 11,200 victims. 

According to the most recent data, small businesses are hit four times more frequently than medium and big firms, with the healthcare and social assistance industry growing at the fastest rate of +160% year on year. 

South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya are among the African countries most affected as cyber extortion spreads around the world. 

Diana Selck-Paulsson, lead security researcher at Orange Cyberdefense, stated that "cybercrime is borderless, and as threats evolve alongside the emergence of new technologies such as GenAI, we must continue to adapt and be prepared for the globalisation of the threat ecosystem." 

According to the report, while the law has been able to bring some cyber criminals to justice, an equal number swiftly fills the space of those who have been eliminated from the ecosystem. 

"We are seeing a measured rise in the pace at which law enforcement is responding to meet the Cy-X threat but as victim numbers surge at an alarming rate, with new tactics being deployed and moral restraints dwindling, it's an ongoing battle that's further complicated by the decentralised and fragmented ecosystem", Hugues Foulon, CEO of Orange Cyberdefense, commented.

Daily newsletter