This report provides an overview of cyber security and cyber crime related developments in Africa. It assesses the major trends around the world and on the Continent. It also takes stock of the many advances made by government authorities as well as identifies some of the challenges in a rapidly connected and ICT-dependent world.
The research for and writing of this report was carried out jointly by the African Union Commission (AUC) and Symantec, as part of the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise (GFCE) Initiative, with additional support from the U.S. Department of State and the Council of Europe. The AUC leveraged their network of official contacts with governments throughout Africa, and in particular those national agencies or institutions leading cyber security or cyber crime related efforts. 1 Symantec gathered information through its global network, which is made up of more than 63.8 million attack sensors and records thousands of events per second. Spam, Phishing, and Malware data provided by Symantec is captured through a variety of sources including a system of more than five million decoy accounts, and a threat detection network processing over nine billion email messages each month and more than 1.8 billion web requests filtered each day across 13 data centers. Symantec also gathers phishing information through an extensive antifraud community of enterprises, security vendors, and more than 52 million consumers and 175 million endpoints. Other partners contributed with information according to their areas of expertise. The information reported by government authorities and collected by Symantec and others yielded useful insights in terms of the trends observed on the Continent, the steps being taken to address them, and those areas where significant gaps or deficiencies remain.