According to the World Bank, South Africa is the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa with the highest cybersecurity vulnerability.

Kenya and Nigeria follow in second and third place respectively.

Botswana placed fourth, while Zimbabwe was fifth on the rank. Meanwhile, Djibouti, Egypt, and Tanzania placed 6th, 7th, and 8th, respectively.

After Ghana came Uganda, DR Congo and Ethiopia in 10th, 11th, and 12th positions respectively.

In a related development, rating agency Fitch has said that even though there is increased technology for health service data security is still at risk.

This was contained in an analysis of the COVID-19 Pandemic titled: ‘Upsides for Accelerating Demand For Digital Services In Africa.’

It explained that as more cases of COVID-19 are recorded, more governments may want to collect and store mobile users’ data to increase the pace of diagnosis. However, the lack of secure IT infrastructure will make many countries vulnerable to data theft and potential cybercrimes.

“The spread of the pandemic will also see telecare become an increasing priority for governments in the region. Due to limited and less developed infrastructure in emerging markets, telecare services are not delivered via advanced mobile broadband standards like 4G and 5G, but leverage older communication technologies, such as mobile messaging (SMS), which rely on less complex networks and have a wider reach”, it explained.

The telecom regulator in South Africa, for instance, has directed all mobile network operators in the country to send their customers two COVID-19-related informative text messages per day.

“We expect the uptake of basic mobile services in Africa to largely remain relatively insulated from the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, the economic impacts of the virus may weigh on a number of players’ strategies to deploy advanced mobile services, forcing them to instead focus on the provision of vital network infrastructure and services over the coming quarters,” Fitch said.