Trend Micro fighting more cyberattacks in South Africa than ever before

  • Trend Micro notes that detections of cyberthreats increased 10 percent to 161 billion in 2023.
  • In South Africa, Trend Micro blocked as many as 225 million cyberthreats.
  • This increase in threats is largely being driven by the availability of generative artificial intelligence which makes crafting attacks incredibly easy.

Cybercriminals are honing in on South Africa with their efforts. This is according to Trend Micro Incorporated which reports that it blocked 225 million cyberthreats in South Africa in 2023.

These threats include emails, malicious URLs, and malware attacks.

Globally, detections of cyberthreats increased 10 percent to 161 billion in 2023 compared with 2022. The security firm says that this increase can be attributed to the growing use of generative artificial intelligence (genAI) to aid in attacks.

The rate at which genAI can be used to mine datasets, craft social engineering attacks and even write phishing emails means that criminals can execute more attacks and target a greater number of businesses. This means that the risk of being targeted in a cyberattack is greater than ever.

“Building a reputation can take decades, but a single cyber incident can collapse it in minutes,” say Assad Arabi, Managing Director, Africa and Venture Markets, Trend Micro.

“This underscores the critical need for organisations to prioritise strong cybersecurity measures to safeguard their operations and combat modern threats effectively – particularly as we navigate this era of AI in which new tools are powering more sophisticated phishing attempts at scale. By staying proactive and vigilant, organisations can mitigate risks and maintain their reputation in an ever-evolving digital landscape.”

Of course, genAI can also be a valuable tool in the fight against cybercrime. Research from PwC’s Global Digital Trust Insights Survey found that 70 percent of leaders are considering the use of genAI for defensive purposes.

Given the inordinate amount of attacks that can be executed, a human team could get severely bogged down investigating every potential breach or threat. Instead, security teams can craft solutions that leverage genAI to find vulnerabilities that need patching. GenAI can also be used to analyse massive swathes of data and detect anomalies.

The crux of the matter though is that with genAI in play from a cybercrime perspective, security teams should operate under the assumption that they have been breached and work from there. This is due to the human element already having been the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain before genAI was as common as it is today. With the ability to launch sophisticated attacks, the risk of employees letting somebody through the gates is higher than ever.

[Image – Megan Rexazin Conde from Pixabay]


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