Cyber crimes have been targeting financial, security and public institutions. According to a half-year report compiled by the Information Network Security Agency (INSA), more than 2,000 attempts have been blocked saving 15 billion Br that would disrupt service delivery and destroy data in several institutions.

The Director General, Solomon Soka said they were able to stop 91.5pc of attempts.

"The economic and political implications would have been dire," he said.

INSA has conducted a cyber security risks study on 64 public and private organisations focusing on their websites, network infrastructure and mobile applications. Solomon observed that less care when developing and operating digitalised systems at the individual and institutional levels has contributed to the attack.

"Service providers should be cautious," he told Fortune.

Cyber attacks have been frequent worldwide incidents. A Check Point Research (CPR) data on cyberattack trends released last month, cites a 38pc increase in global attacks in 2022, compared to the previous year. The escalation is attributed to agile hackers focused on exploiting tools used by remote workers and schools that shifted to e-learning during the pandemic, and healthcare organizations. Africa experienced the highest volume of attacks with 1875 weekly attacks per organization, followed by Asian Pacific region with 1691 weekly attacks per organization.

There are organized groups with the intention of breaching websites and taking data with the organizations never knowing about it. Michael Tekle, lawyer and CEO of Axiom Financial Technologies believes companies need seasoned tech-savvy professionals that perform routine checkups.

"What should worry us all are the unidentified attacks," remarked Michael.

The Financial Intelligence Service (FIS) identified 80 cases related to money or properties obtained illegally, out of the 1,360 suspicions received from law enforcement in the last six months.

Endale Assefa, director of communication said the cases vary from corruption, money laundering, the parallel market related to foreign exchange, human trafficking, tax crimes, terrorist financing and fraud accounting for the largest number of reports.

“Most fraudulent activities occur through social media,” he said.

The option to appear anonymous on the platforms contributes to the rising numbers asking for money for services they never provide.

The CPR data also examined worldwide sectoral cyberattacks in 2022, revealing 2,314 weekly attacks per organization in the education and research sector, while government and military follows suit with an average of 1,661 attacks and the healthcare sector with 1,463 attacks. The figure shows the industries' cyber attack record increased by 43pc, 46pc and 74pc from the previous year respectively.

Check Point is an American-Israeli combined hardware and software products provider for IT security based in Tel Aviv, Israel and San Carlos, California. It provides leading cyber threat intelligence to customers and the intelligence community by collecting and analysing global cyber attack data.

According to a study conducted by Addis Abeba University in 2016, a cyber security vulnerability is caused by inadequate security structures and contingency management plans. The lack of disaster recovery sites for critical business continuity operations and insufficient cyber security education are also mentioned in the study.

Henock Mulugeta, a computer engineering expert warns the country might encounter several attacks as a less advanced entrant to the digital world.

He believes most people are in the dark to even conceptualise what is happening. The expert said it is difficult to address the problem in a place where internet users do not possess much knowledge than typing passwords.

"Cybersecurity courses should be mandatory," he said.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 18,2023 [ VOL 23 , NO 1190]

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Put your comments here

N.B: A submit button will appear once you fill out all the required fields.

Editors' Pick