SA improves in its overall cyber security: study

A new study shows that SA has improved in the area of cyber security.
A new study shows that SA has improved in the area of cyber security.
Image: 123RF / Glebstock

While SA battles with cyber crimes, the country has, according to a new study, improved in cyber security.

The study, by Comparitech, shows that SA has improved its ranking from 34.39 to 25.83. This means the country has moved from being the 28th least cyber-safe country to the 31st least cyber-safe country.

In June 2019, the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) said it had recorded an increase in cyber crimes in the country for the year 2018.

Digital banking crimes increased by 75.3%, from 13,389 incidents to 23,466, in which R262m was stolen. These crimes were committed via phishing, vishing, smishing or e-mail hacking, Sabric said.

In 2019, the Comparitech study looked at 60 countries from the least cyber-safe to the most cyber-safe, based on a number of criteria.

These included: the percentage of mobile devices infected with malware; the percentage of computers infected with malware; the number of financial malware attacks; the percentage of users attacked by crypto miners and the countries with the most up-to-date cyber security legislation.

According to the study, SA improved in all areas except legislation, where the score remained the same as no new legislation had been introduced over the last year.

The improvements in SA are as follows:

  • The percentage of users affected with mobile malware: improving from 9.9% to 8.28%.
  • The percentage of users attacked with financial malware: improving from 1% to 0.4%.
  • The percentage of users affected with computer malware: improving from 13.4% to 8.5%. 
  • The number of telnet attacks originating from SA: improving from 0.64% to 0.5%.
  • The percentage of users attacked by crypto miners: improving from 2.51% to 0.79%.
  • Its “Best Prepared for Cyberattacks” score: improving from 0.502 to 0.652. 

In 2020, the number of countries included in the study went up to 76. The countries were then ranked from one to 76, with one being the least cyber-secure country and 76 being the most cyber-secure country.

Denmark is the most cyber-secure country in the world, according to the study, taking over from Japan which dropped four places to the fifth most cyber-secure country.

Other top-performing countries included Sweden, Germany, Ireland and Japan.

“Algeria is still the least cyber-secure country in the world despite its score improving slightly. With no new legislation, it is still the country with the poorest legislation,” the study says.


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