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Ransomware Threat Growing for Kenyan Businesses

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Businesses in Kenya are increasingly concerned about cyber threats, particularly ransomware attacks, which are growing in frequency and sophistication, with devastating effects on organizations. According to a report by Liquid C2, Kenyan businesses reported an 82% increase in cyberattacks in 2022, with 90% of the country’s large enterprises suffering a successful breach last year.

In a notable incident in July, the government’s eCitizen portal was attacked, disrupting key online government services for days. Another ransomware attack targeted the Kenya Airports Authority in March, with cybercriminals demanding KSh67.6 million (USD 466,206.89) to return 514 GB of data.

Costly and damaging

Ransomware denies access to files by encrypting data and demanding a ransom payment for decryption, often leaving organizations with no choice but to pay. However, paying the ransom does not guarantee data recovery, and hackers may demand more money afterward.

Such attacks are particularly concerning for Kenya and the East African region, where SMEs make up 90% of businesses according to Oxfam. Ransomware attacks can bankrupt small businesses, causing profit loss, reputational damage, and additional costs like regulator fines and technical support fees.

Layered approach

To protect against ransomware, organizations should adopt a layered security approach, including employee training, robust cybersecurity solutions, strong passwords, and regular software updates. Regular data backups are crucial, enabling businesses to recover quickly without paying a ransom. Engaging a data management solutions provider can also enhance defense against ransomware by enabling ubiquitous data recovery and early threat detection.

While ransomware attacks are a growing threat, robust solutions are available to protect against them. With the right approach and solutions, businesses can mitigate the risks posed by ransomware and safeguard their operations.

By David Mugo, Senior Solution Engineer at Commvault

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