July 01, 2024

DDoS attacks target Pan-African financial institutions: Are banks prepared?

Financial institutions are increasingly being targeted by cybercrime, which is on the rise throughout the African continent. In comparison to the same period in 2023, there was a 23% rise in cyber attacks targeting African banks in the first half of 2024, according to a recent report by Cyber Security Africa.

This increasing number of cyber attacks highlights how urgently Pan-African banks must strengthen their security measures. Their extensive networks and substantial financial assets make Pan-African banks a desirable target for hackers. These enterprises have operations in several countries, which makes implementing robust cyber security measures more difficult.

According to a Deloitte survey, 78% of these institutions have increased their cyber security expenditures for the year. However, although Pan-African banks are taking threats more seriously, there may still be room for improvement given the recent surge in Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks.

Recognising the danger: What constitutes a DDoS attack?

A DDoS attack involves flooding a website or online service with so much traffic that it becomes unusable for users, even employees who are authorised. This type of attack affects a website in a manner similar to when traffic on a busy highway suddenly increases to a hundred times its normal level.

A botnet, which is a network of compromised computers, can be used to launch these types of attacks. Since hackers can use readily available DDoS-as-a-Service tools and artificial intelligence (AI), coordinating these attacks is not too difficult or expensive.

The effect on banks across Africa

The impact of a successful DDoS attack on a Pan-African bank might be catastrophic. Customer service may be disrupted, making it difficult for users to check account balances, make payments, or use online banking services. Frustration and harm to the bank's reputation may result from this.

A DDoS attack may also cause a bank to lose income due to downtime. Furthermore, the bank might have to pay a large amount of money to contain the attack and fix any harm that was done. Customers' confidence in the bank's ability to protect financial information may be damaged as a result of a successful DDoS attack.

Defending against attacks using multiple layers

Pan-African banks have various options for defending themselves against DDoS attacks. Firstly, they should invest in DDoS mitigation solutions from a reputable cyber security and ICT services provider. Specialised solutions can identify and divert threats before malicious traffic overwhelms the bank's systems.

Next, segmenting the network will minimise the effect of a DDoS attack on essential functions by establishing firewalls that isolate those systems. This should be used in conjunction with frequent security awareness training for all staff members. As the first line of defence, employees should be aware and alert of any threats.

Lastly, Pan-African banks should partner wiith a reputable supplier of cyber security solutions. These services should include proactive measures, real-time threat detection, and incident response capabilities. The service provider should also offer 24/7 help and always-on monitoring of your digital ecosystem.

Africa's cyber security prospects

New attack techniques are always being developed by cyber criminals, making security a never-ending battle Pan-African banks can, however, take a proactive approach to protecting themselves in the digital era by remaining watchful, making investments in preventative measures and collaborating with reliable ICT providers like SEACOM.

In addition to being necessary for Pan-African banks to continue to succeed, a safe financial infrastructure is also critical for building confidence and advancing financial inclusion throughout the African continent. Governments, banks, and cyber security companies need to collaborate to make the internet a safer place for all users.

Working together is essential as it allows stakeholders to uncover new threats and create more effective defenses by exchanging information. Furthermore, raising people's knowledge of cyber security best practices can provide them the tools they need to stay safe online.

Creating a secure digital future with SEACOM

SEACOM is cognisant of the distinct obstacles that Pan-African financial institutions encounter in the dynamic realm of cyber threats. We provide a full range of cyber security solutions that are intended to defend your bank from online threats, like DDoS attacks.

We offer advanced DDoS detection and response through a product called DDoS Protect. This service uses machine learning and advanced technology to monitor and mitigate attacks before they can cause severe damage. We also provide around-the-clock monitoring to keep an eye on your network and react quickly to any threats.

Should a cyber attack occur, SEACOM's incident response team will make every effort to minimise the harm and get things back to normal. Pan-African banks can acquire the knowledge and tools needed to fortify their digital systems and websites by collaborating with SEACOM. For more information about our cyber security solutions or to get a quote, email us at marketing@seacom.com or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s most extensive network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including subsea cables and secure internet connections. We offer a diverse range of flexible, scalable and high-quality solutions for businesses that meet world-class standards for connectivity.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, making it agile and adaptable to the needs of the customer. This makes us the preferred ICT and internet connectivity partner for African businesses and peripheral service providers. We can guarantee high-speed, low-latency and secure internet connections to corporates and small enterprises.

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