In 2015, the word “cyber-security” became trendy globally. Perhaps for the first time in history, issues relating to the security of the Internet and the protection of internal networks were discussed by, and became relevant to every sector of the economy as well as everyday life: from finance, manufacturing/industrial, automotive and aircraft to wearable devices, healthcare, dating services and more.
2015 saw near-exponential growth in all areas related to cyber-security. In fact, Kaspersky Lab has seen a strong growth in detected threats in African countries, including Nigeria. Says Dirk Kollberg, Senior Security Researcher, Global Research & Analysis Team at Kaspersky Lab; “The continued increase in threats and cyber- security matters certainly shows that African countries are a growing target for cybercrime, and as a result, countries like Nigeria need to pay attention to this reality and the future trends and predictions in this space.”
For Kaspersky Lab, the overriding trend in 2015 globally has been increased complexity in cyber-attacks. The growing number of attacks, the numbers of both attackers and their victims, together with a greater focus on cyber-security in defense budgets, new or enhanced cyber-laws, international agreements and new standards – 2015 redefined the rules of the game. This year, agreements on cyber-security were signed between Russia and China, China and the US, and between China and the UK. These agreements include not just a commitment to mutual cooperation but an assurance that both sides will seek to prevent attacks on each other.
Cyber-activity during 2015 is described by Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) as “elusive”: full of cyber-criminals that are proving hard to catch, cyber-espionage actors that are even harder to attribute, and with privacy often the most elusive of all. Cyber-attacks have achieved the impossible: they have thinned the walls of bedrooms and offices around the world.
“Select any economic sector at random, and the chances are high that you’ll find something in the media about a cyber-security incident or problem. The same goes for all aspects of everyday life. This year’s cyber-events have resulted in a sharp increase in interest, not only in the world’s media but also in the entertainment industry. Movies and television programmes featuring cyber-security issues sometimes resulted in experts appearing as themselves. However, in addition to the positive changes of increased public awareness of risk and how to avoid it, 2015 also resulted in some negative outcomes. Unfortunately, for many, cyber-security has become linked to terrorism. Today, attacking and defending internal and external networks, such as the Internet, are subjects of considerable interest to various illegal groups,” continues Kollberg.