•72% of organisations increase security budget by 10%
Software giant, Microsoft, has alerted organisations in Nigeria and others to a new wave of cyber threats.
Specifically, Microsoft, in its latest Cyber Signals report, highlighted how cybercriminals are using operational technology (OT) as gateways into an organisation’s network.
This comes at a time when Internet of Things (IoT) connections in the region are growing with the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) predicting that 1.1 billion IoT connections are expected by 2025 in MENA.
Microsoft said the growth in OT and IoT has given cybercriminals more opportunities to breach an organisation’s network.
Microsoft’s Cyber Signals report is a regular cyber threat intelligence brief, spotlighting security trends and insights gathered from Microsoft’s 65 trillion daily security signals and 8,500 security experts.
The latest edition has found that converging IT, IoT and OT systems pose a wider risk to critical infrastructure.
The American firm said for Chief Information Officers in the MEA, the impact of a possible security breach is top of mind in an increasingly complex threat environment. This can be seen in the 11.2 per cent rise in cybersecurity spending in the MENA for 2022.
Microsoft said the growing rate of digital transformation within the African region is facilitating the emergence of new attack vectors and opportunities for cybercriminals.
For Nigerian CIOs, the firm observed that the consequences of a possible security breach are their number one concern as they look to navigate an increasingly complex threat and regulatory landscape, which is according to the Enterprise Security Trends in Nigeria survey, conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) and commissioned by Microsoft.
It said Nigerian organisations realise the importance of developing a proactive approach to security, adding that the IDC survey revealed that 72 per cent of organisations in Nigeria have increased security budgets by 10 per cent or more in the last few years.
Microsoft noted that the increase in digital transformation across the region has enabled organisations to manage their buildings, emergency systems and access control with smart devices connected to a network.
In addition, Microsoft said it has seen an increase in IoT devices in the workplace to better enable hybrid work such as smart conference rooms with microphones and cameras.
It stressed that as the threat landscape continues to expand and become more complex, organisations need to rethink their cyber risk approach to stay one step ahead of would-be attackers. It added that Cyber Signals found that there are currently over one million connected devices publicly visible on the Internet running Boa, an outdated and unsupported software still widely used in IoT devices and software development kits.
While presenting the report, Country Manager for Microsoft Nigeria and Ghana, Ola Williams, said: “Organisations are more connected than ever before. From the humble Wi-Fi router to the everyday office printer, IT teams need to view their IoT devices differently and secure them as they would any company laptop to prevent security breaches.
“Gaining complete visibility of an organisation’s OT systems and protecting its IoT solutions will go a long way in preventing cyberattacks.”
Microsoft urged that to learn more about IT, OT, and IoT threats, the third edition of Cyber Signals is available.