African banks become the new target for elite hacking groups



  • The Rise on Cybersecurity Threats.
  • Hackers targeting African Financial institution.
  • The Lazarus group’s style of heist.

Cybersecurity is an important topic in the modern banking system and every enterprise should put forward a detailed plan to address challenges that arise from cybersecurity threats. According to TrustWave, cybersecurity-related costs will top 8 Trillion dollars in 2020.


Most elite hackers do it for the money and there is no better target than financial institutions. African banks have become a prime target for hackers mainly due to a lack of robust cybersecurity systems and a lack of experienced cybersecurity personnel.

A number of recent attacks targeting African financial institutions have been reported and they all use the Lazarus group’s style of heists as reported by Symantec. The Lazarus group is well known for carrying out the Sony hack and also the WannaCry malware.  According to reports from security experts, the Lazarus group is linked to the North Korean government and these hacks are supposed to be means of helping fund the operations of this government.

Traditionally African banks have not been targets of these attacks but due to strengthening regulation and security awareness in other regions, African financial institutions have become a tempting target for these high-profile hackers.

Most African financial institutions become prime targets due to softer governmental regulations and a lack of cybersecurity personnel to help secure their systems. In a recent report by Trustwave, 53 percent of organizations globally have a shortage of cybersecurity skills and this challenge is even more defined in the sub-Saharan Africa region.

These attacks targeting African financial institutions will continue to grow in number and scale until governments and financial institutions make proactive steps to improve the cybersecurity situation in Africa.


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