Election officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission work on computers in a counting center in Nairobi, Kenya, August 9, 2017. (REUTERS / Thomas Mukoya)

At first glance, the possibilities of most African countries to prevent or react to a cyber attack by state-sponsored hackers appear limited. African countries generally have low cyber maturity and limited offensive and defensive cyber capabilities. Virtually all of them rely on foreign actors to provide critical information infrastructures and manage data using cloud technologies. This limits sovereign control over the electronic information produced by African citizens, and makes tech stacks in countries across the continent vulnerable to compromise. African governments and regional organizations have already been targeted by a number of high-profile state-sponsored attacks, including Chinese spying on the African Union and North Korea’s 2017 Wannacry ransomware attack.

Although only a few African states …



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