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25% South Africa, 40% Kenya and 38% Nigeria’s Kaspersky Users Are Attacked by Malware Hiding Within Their Devices

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Kaspersky Lab

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.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Telecommunications

Truecaller Hits 43 million African Users, Releases a Business Solution

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Truecaller, a caller ID service and phone search engine, has launched an identification solution to help companies prove their legitimacy while calling customers, thus increasing safety and reducing fraud.

Truecaller helps users to see who is calling and automatically screens out spam calls and SMSes.

Truecaller Business Identity, a modern enterprise solution, allows companies to verify their identities using a green checked business badge that accurately displays the company’s profile name, photo, and logo.

“Fraud continues to be a major problem across Africa, and as a company, Truecaller wanted to provide solutions on a business as well as a personal level,” said Zakaria Hersi, Director of Business Development in Africa. “Trust is at the core of everything we do, and because we spend so much of our time on our phones, we need to make sure that our contact takes place in a secure atmosphere, which was also part of the strategy behind our harassment campaign in March this year.”

The new solution increases trust and productivity in business-to-business contact by providing customers with the assurance that the caller is a Truecaller-verified business.

A checked business on Truecaller gets a verified tick mark icon and can lock their brand name and profile picture in addition to the green Caller ID and green Verified Business badge.

Consumers would be able to tell which calls to trust as a result of this.

Importantly, users will continue to see the amount of spam marks as before, and they will have the option of labeling checked phone numbers as spam or blocking them entirely.

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Telecommunications

FG Lifts Ban on New SIM Cards’ Issuance

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sim card

The federal government yesterday reversed its policy banning the sale of new Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, in agreement with industry stakeholders, also yesterday revised the National Digital Identity Policy for SIM card registration.

According to him, the activation of new SIM card, banned in December last year, will begin in April.

Pantami directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure the provisions of the National Digital Identity Policy for SIM card registration are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers.

He said the implementation of the policy and issuance of new SIMs and other suspended activities would resume on the same date, provided that verification had been completed and the guidelines fully adhered to.

According to a statement by the Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister, Dr. Femi Adeluyi, an earlier policy was approved on February 4, 2020, while the revised policy was developed in early March 2021. The policy was further improved and endorsed for implementation by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 26, 2021.

According to the statement, the final amendments to the revised policy, based on the directives of Buhari to make the use of the National Identification Number (NIN) mandatory for all SIM registration, were completed on April 14, 2021.
The policy includes guidelines on new SIM acquisition and activation, SIM replacement, new SIM activation for corporates and Internet-of-Things/Machine-to-Machine (IoT/M2M), among others.

The statement said: “For the corporate registration, institutions will be required to appoint a telecoms master (at the minimum of an executive management level) to provide the operational primary NIN representation. The telecoms master will also be responsible to ensure that the users provide their NINs to serve as a secondary NIN.

“For IoT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point-to-point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred.”
Pantami stated that progress had been made in the NIN registration process.

“Nonetheless, the federal government is committed to supporting all Nigerians and legal residents to obtain a NIN. The biometric verification process has been slower than anticipated, owing largely to the non-adherence of many previous SIM biometric capture processes to the NIMC standards.

“The revised policy will ensure that operators conform to the required standards for biometric capture. The guidelines in the policy have been painstakingly developed and while they are thorough, it should be noted that they have been developed that way in national interest since the SIM is essentially a national resource. Citizens and legal residents are encouraged to bear with the government as the process has been developed in the best interest of the country,” the statement added.

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E-commerce

Walmart eCommerce Sales to Grow by 21% in 2021 to $65 Billion, Nearly a Sixth of Amazon’s $367 Billion

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A massive boom in click-and-collect trends is expected to accelerate Walmart’s pandemic-driven momentum through 2021.

According to the research data analyzed and published by ComprarAcciones.comWalmart’s online sales will grow by 21.2% to $64.62 billion in 2021. Its share of US online sales will rise from 6.7% in 2020 to 7.1% in 2021.

Based on the latest NRF ranking, Walmart is the world’s biggest retailer, followed closely by Amazon. Its total sales for 2020 – both online and offline – amounted to $559 billion, more than $200 billion ahead of Amazon’s figure.

Click-and-Collect Purchases will Grow by 15% to $83 Billion in 2021

Walmart’s US online sales for 2021 will almost double eBay’s estimated $38.67 billion. They will also be higher than the combined total of $60.59 billion that Best Buy, Target and The Home Depot will generate.

However, the big box retailer will be far behind the top US online marketplace, Amazon. Amazon’s sales are projected to reach $367.19 billion, nearly six times the Walmart total. Its share of US online sales will increase from 39.8% to 40.4%. Third-party vendors on the platform will grow sales by 16.5% to $220.39 billion. That will be 60% of total sales.

Among the factors driving Walmart’s growth is its huge brick-and-mortar footprint which drives online sales via click-and-collect. It has more than 4,700 stores in the US and 90% of Americans live within a 10-mile radius of one of them.

The click-and-collect trend saw significant growth in 2020. According to an eMarketer report, US shoppers made purchases worth $72.46 billion using the method. Compared to the 2019 total of $35.02 billion, the figure marked a growth rate of 106.9% YoY. It accounted for 9.1% of all online purchases, up from 5.8% in 2020. The growth is expected to carry into 2021. Total sales are also set to rise by 15.2% to $83.47 billion.

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