Cyber attacks are more prevalent these days, and it is important for countries to have a strategy to defend against these kinds of online attacks.
Africa is no different, with strategies and organizations required in order to defend against hackers looking to penetrate key systems or networks that need to remain secure for the public or private good.
Some African countries have considered this threat, and are fairly well-prepared for the possibility of needing to defend against cyber attacks, while others have not prepared adequately or are not as advanced in their cybersecurity capabilities.
The second edition of the Global Cybersecurity Index 2017, released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations, measures the commitment of countries to cybersecurity.
Here are 12 African countries which are best-prepared to defend against cyber attacks.
At 75 in the world, Cameroon’s readiness to fight cyber attacks is around the average mark, but far better than most of the nations in Africa, with only 11 other countries on the continent more committed to anti-cyber attack practices.
With a global ranking of 74, this West African nation is only one better than Cameroon, and 11th on the African continent according to Global Cybersecurity Index 2017, but is not yet in the top 10 as far as the region is concerned.
It may surprise some, but Botswana is fairly advanced in terms of committing to securing their cyberspace and using measures to improve their security. The state’s Maitlamo National ICT policy makes provisions for cybersecurity, showing the forward-thinking nature of government in this regard.
The North African nation is ranked ninth in terms of commitment to cybersecurity in Africa, having cultivated officially recognised partnerships to enable and encourage the sharing of cybersecurity assets across borders and with other nation states.
South Africa is fairly well-placed in terms of cybersecurity, with the country using inter-agency partnerships effectively. The national cybersecurity hub serves as a central point for collaboration between industry, government and civil society on all nefarious online incidents, mandated by the National Cybersecurity Policy Framework (NCPF).
Considered 50th in the world in terms of their capacity to defend against cyber threats, Uganda has a Global Cybersecurity Capacity Centre that is dedicated to fighting against the threats such as the recent ransomware examples that spread globally.
Hackers are able to unleash cyber attacks that can be damaging to public and private enterprise. Image: altonivel.com.mx
Another of the North African contingent on this list, Morocco is a member of the ITU-IMPACT initiative and, as a result, has access to cybersecurity services. It has implemented an officially recognised national and sector specific cybersecurity framework with internationally recognised standards.
The fifth most committed African country in relation to cybersecurity, Nigeria is 46th globally, thanks to what the Global Cybersecurity Index 2017 describes as cybersecurity programs and initiatives that fall within the maturing tier of countries.
The computer emergency response team in Kenya responds to cyber threats. Photo – AfricaBusinessCommunities
The Kenya Education Network is the computer emergency response team for the academic community and is licensed by the Communications Authority of Kenya as a not-for-profit operator serving the education and research institutions. This makes Kenya one of the best prepared to defend against cyber attacks in Africa.
Rwanda, ranked third on the continent, scores high in the organizational pillar and has a standalone cybersecurity policy that is aimed at addressing both the public and private sectors. The East African nation is committed to developing a stronger cybersecurity industry in order to ensure sufficient defense against cyber attacks.
Egypt provides computer emergency response team (EG-CERT) support to several entities in the information and communication technology sector, the financial sector as well as the government sector, to defend effectively against cybersecurity related threats. The response team is constantly upgrading capacity, as well as mobile and industrial cybersecurity and control systems, making Egypt the second best-prepared nation in Africa.
The Indian Ocean island is the best-prepared of the African nations to defend against a cyber attack, placed sixth overall in the leading tier alongside the U.S. and other cybersecurity leaders. Mauritius trains law enforcement and judiciary members on this subject, while the technical officers of the specialist IT Security Unit of the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation are well-placed to fight against cyber threats.
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