Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya all ranked ahead of SA in cybersecurity in new survey
- The 2021 Digital Quality of Life Index ranked SA 68 out of 110 countries.
- But SA came in at 85 for electronic security – and 95 for cybersecurity.
- Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, Zambia, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Tunisia are ahead of SA in electronic security.
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South Africa lags behind in cybersecurity, not only globally but also on the continent, according to a study by virtual private network provider SharkTank.
Although the Digital Quality of Life Index 2021 Ranked SA 68 out of 110 countries in total, the country performs poorly on electronic security and its subset, cybersecurity.
South Africa is not only poorly ranked globally, but also among the 18 African countries measured on the index. When it comes to electronic security rankings, SA is behind Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, Zambia, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Tunisia.
South Africa was only ahead of Morocco, Mali, Senegal, Angola, Tanzania, Namibia, Egypt and Cameroon.
SA’s e-security vulnerability can be seen in a series of high-profile cyber breaches over the past few months. Hack of Debt-IN debt collection systems led to employer’s date and salary, ID numbers and contact details being made available online for 1.4 million South Africans .
The state was not spared either, with the Department of Justice and Transnet victim of cyberattacks. The attack on the Justice Department was particularly cruel because it cut off child support payments.
SA is not the only one to face this type of attack according to the cybersecurity company Kaspersky. It reported in August 2021 that SA, Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia had experienced 85 million malware attacks in the previous six months, of which 32 million.
“This indicates that cybercriminals and hackers continue to focus on Africa, where controls are known to be weak,” Liquid Intelligent Technologies noted in its The evolving threat of cybersecurity in Africa report.
Not bad at all
Although SA did not perform well in the electronic security rankings of the Digital Quality of Life Index, it did well on metrics such as mobile Internet stability where it ranks seventh and 24th in terms of mobile accessibility.
Despite this, SA lost ground against other countries in the index, as it had lost nine places overall from where it was in 2020.