African enterprises grapple with growing mobile phone security threats

African enterprises face growing mobile phone security threats due in large part to remote work and the rise of a wide variety of mobile services. Here are the issues that tech leaders face, and some tips on how to handle mobile security problems.

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Technology leaders in African enterprises face growing mobile security threats due to an increase in mobile phone penetration, the massive move to remote work brought about by the pandemic, and an accelerating rise in mobile services.

South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria in particular are seeing an increase in mobile phone malware, according to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky. In Kenya, 7% of users were affected by malware last year, and 13% by adware, according to a recent Kaspersky report. In Nigeria, the situation was similar, with 7% of users impacted by malware and 17% by adware. In South Africa, 4% of users were targeted with malware and 7% with adware, Kaspersky said.

Mobile banking has also become a major target for cybercriminals in regions like East Africa. The growth of mobile banking has recently outperformed that of traditional banking services such as deposits, withdrawals, transfers and balance inquiries.

Some companies in Africa have begun using mobile money as a payment method for expenses, creating a source of vulnerability that attracts exploiters. Its convenience is attractive to companies but great care is advised by security experts.

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