Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity company has predicted a growing economic turbulence, along with the impact of COVID-19, would contribute to an increase in cybercrime across South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and other African countries in 2021.

Kaspersky gave the prediction in its latest report released this week.

Enterprise Cyber Security Advisor for Kaspersky in Africa, Lehan van den Heever, said: “Even though every country globally has had to deal with the pandemic in its own way, developing economies across Africa have been especially hard hit by national lockdowns and limited business activity. Thanks to the increased connectedness of people, the rise in unemployment will not only see a spike in traditional crime, but this will also extend to the digital environment, which is something we are already seeing.”

While the increase in these crimes was expected to vary by country, Kaspersky advised African nations to prepare themselves for the inevitability of increases in malware that already topped 28 million by August last year, according to Kaspersky research.

He said further pressure to this melting pot of cyber-attacks is an expected rise, along with changes in strategy, in Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs).

“Our researchers anticipate that in 2021, across the globe though where Africa is not immune, there will be a change in threat actors’ approach to the execution of APT attacks and as such, organisations must pay special attention to generic malware as it will likely be used to deploy more sophisticated threats,” Heever added.