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New topic - Approximately 1% of national budgets in some African countries are allocated to cybercrime, according to a research study.

Since the economic impact over the last decade has grown, cybercrime in Africa has increased at an unprecedented rate, according to a Symantec Corporation report. Due to its permissive nature, cybercrime has resulted in huge economic degradation in Africa, crippling developing countries as they try to maintain their economies. Organizations, businesses, governments, and citizens in Africa have become reliant on technology for communication and sharing confidential information as technology has rapidly grown in use. Recent reports from the Cyber African summit indicate that from 2019 to 2020, African businesses, especially SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), have suffered $3.5 billion in cybercrime losses, a rapid increase from 2019 when the total loss was about $2 billion. With losses of $649 million, Nigeria remains the hardest hit, followed by Kenya with $210 million, South Africa with $157 million, and Tanzania with $99 million. This happens annually, and if awareness is not raised and laws are not enacted sooner, this can derail the economies of Africa, which can affect the entire continent. The threats to cyberspace are increasing along with digital transformation.

It is largely due to a lack of awareness that there is a permissive environment. States, organizations, and citizens are increasingly vulnerable to cyber incidents, whose consequences are extremely costly. In addition to the widespread use of social media, downloading and viewing content online has made cyberspace more vulnerable to attacks. There are more free software downloads in Africa than paid software from the original vendor, exposing their vulnerabilities and creating back doors for cyberattacks.

There is a need for awareness and education in the African community and for governments to have effective measures to protect their citizens against cyber criminals. Additionally, the development of digital technology greatly affects the security posture of many African countries. There is also evidence that cybercriminals are dependent on poor security habits to commit their crimes. These factors make cybersecurity awareness and an effective campaign necessary. Based on statistics, the cybersecurity campaign has been effective in reducing cyber threats from 70% to 45%.

To mitigate the rapid increase in cybercrime, cybersecurity awareness campaigns are vital. Cybercriminals are profiting from lax cybersecurity and internet safety campaigns because they have created a lax environment.

A detailed report was provided by ECOWAS and Symantec detailing and tracking cyber threats across the continent and their impact.

Throughout the continent, commodities have boomed due to the expanding middle class and mobile technology's rapid adoption. According to the Telecommunication Union (TU), 76.4 percent of households had access to a computer in 2018 compared with 3.6 percent in 2005. Most mobile phones used in African countries have also proven to be effective tools for maintaining family ties, according to studies. The research market report shows that B2C e-commerce sales in Africa are growing rapidly. Because of the high usage of mobile telephony and computers, e-commerce accounts for only a small share of total sales in Africa. This indicates that future growth has a great deal of potential. African emerging consumers are increasingly adopting online shopping practices, which is driving most of the growth.

Africa's households rely heavily on mobile technology to access the internet, and it accounts for a lion's share of the connection.

In Africa, 80 percent of personal computers contain viruses and other malicious software. This is based on charity donations of computers being sent overseas which has led to the spread of viruses. Many second-hand computers purchased online are infected with viruses.

Reports from the United Nations indicate that advanced technology and communication are being used to support terrorist attacks in some countries, which has added to the cyber security challenges. There is evidence that recent terrorist attacks, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and West Gate Mall in Kenya, were planned to use advanced technology that state actors aren't even prepared to respond to. The result has been a slowing of tourism in Kenya with a total loss of $200 million in the economy.

According to Deloitte and Touche's 2011 financial survey, Tanzania and Zambia lost $245 million due to cyber fraud because their banking systems don't use highly developed security measures. It should also be noted that several African banks have been robbed by foreigners who have not been properly documented.

Consumers, businesses, and governments in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are increasingly experiencing cybercrime due to digitization which has been unexplored. There is some level of corruption between cyber criminals and state officials who are merging to commit cybercrimes.

This is evident that the African continent will be at a loss if they don't have their belts strapped properly to handle the epidemic of cyber-crime impacting the economy and increasing poverty.

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