Cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, Kaspersky has revealed that 40% of global industrial control system computers were attacked with malware in 2022 and Rwanda was among the highly targeted countries.
In its latest report on Africa, Kaspersky shows that Rwanda was among the highly targeted and attacked countries on the continent which recorded an overall 47% malware attacks.
The report indicates that Ethiopia had the highest attacks (62%), followed by Algeria (59%), and Burundi (57%).
Rwanda had 46%, Kenya (41%), Nigeria and Zimbabwe (both at 40%), Ghana (39%), Zambia (38%) and South Africa and Uganda (both at 36%).
The report explains that a high threat landscape on the continent affected both public and private sector entities, especially those in critical sectors like energy and noted that despite all the innovations in modern cybersecurity solutions, human error still play a significant role in compromising Industrial Control Systems (ICS).
ICS is a collection of personnel, hardware, and software that can affect or influence the safe, secure, and reliable operation of an industrial process.
Kaspersky tech expert and consultant in the Middle East and African region, Brandon Muller, said, “One infected USB drive or a single spear-phishing email is all it takes for cyber criminals to bridge the air gap and penetrate an isolated ICS network.
“Traditional security is not adequate to protect industrial environments from rapidly evolving cyber threats. As attacks against critical infrastructure increase, choosing the right approach to secure systems has never been more important.
During a security symposium on cyber security held in Rwanda in 2019, Eugene Kaspersky, founder of Kaspersky antivirus, said that Africans remain at a threat of being caught up in cyber warfare and called on countries to invest in building immune systems adopted from existing infrastructure.
He said that there is already a technology to protect existing infrastructure to be adopted but since it’s expensive, the correct move is by sharing these technologies among Africans and investing in education in order to find a balance between resources and skills.
On the side of Rwanda’s response to cyber threats especially seen in the internet network, the government has through the Rwanda Internet Community and Technology (RICTA) set a target of increasing the number of network engineers in the country in the next five years.
Through the annual training of Rwanda Network Operators Group (RWNOG) Rwanda trained over 500 network managers and engineers (private and public) as of 2022 and set a new target to train 1,000 in the next five years.
Rwanda has a coding academy which builds a young generation of coders and plans to construct other four coding academies in order to train more students in fighting cyber security crimes.