A new report from PwC highlights the growing importance of cybersecurity risks for companies in Africa. The report, entitled “Africa Business Agenda: Technology Perspective 2023”, is based on responses from 282 CEOs in Africa who participated in PwC’s 26th Annual Global CEO Survey. It reveals that while 26% of African CEOs believe their companies will be exposed to cyber risks in the next 12 months, and 33% in the next five years, cyber risks are not considered a major risk compared to other factors such as inflation and macroeconomic volatility.
According to Hamil Bhoora, PwC Africa Cybersecurity Competency Leader, many companies are also dealing with each incident as it happens in isolation, instead of having a holistic approach that looks at overall prevention. This means that many organisations do not have a long-term cybersecurity strategic plan. The report calls for a more proactive approach, with companies appointing specialists such as chief information security officers to manage the situation proactively and efficiently.
The report also notes that the manufacturing and mining sectors are extremely vulnerable to cyber risks, as cybersecurity investments remain relatively low in these sectors despite the increasing adoption of smart technologies and Industrial Control Systems (ICS). In contrast, the financial services sector has a more mature cybersecurity posture, with 87% of CEOs in Africa saying they are seeing significant technology disruption to their business models, as opposed to 50% globally.
While technology adoption rates in Africa are low, increased investment in adoption can result in more opportunities for job creation, new skills acquisition, opening up new business areas and adding more value. The report highlights the importance of understanding how technology and data can add value to businesses in a sustainable, manageable and controlled way, while prioritising cybersecurity to safeguard operations against potential cyber-attacks.