In Africa, more than 4 billion dollars of losses are recorded each year due to the millions of cyberattacks that the continent suffers. For Madagascar, we do not yet know the cost of the impact of this growing phenomenon, but it turns out that the companies that are victims of cyberattacks are constantly growing.
According to specialists, the lack of investment in cybersecurity and the weak resilience of existing infrastructures explain the vulnerability of countries like Madagascar. 66% of companies operating in the region invest less than the equivalent of 200,000 euros per year, 35% of investments are intended for securing infrastructure and only 5% is allocated to data security. To avoid considerable losses and anchor the country’s digital development on a secure trajectory, various meetings and exchanges have been organized in recent months. The most recent of these is none other than the Conference on Digital Transformation in Africa (ATDA 2023) organized in Antananarivo on May 19 and 20. The organizers invited Youssef Ait Kaddour, Chief Cybersecurity and Privacy Officer at Huawei Morocco, to shed light on the cybersecurity situation on the continent and the existing solutions to protect against it or limit its impact. “Everything must go through the implementation of real cybersecurity governance strategies and the resilience of existing infrastructures. On the educational level, it is necessary to establish a model for training human capital in digital technologies. The primary objective is to monitor and anticipate any potential cybersecurity incident,” explained Youssef Ait Kaddour during his speech. A reminder was also made that cybersecurity has become an essential component of digital transformation. It is a pillar for building trust between different digital stakeholders.
Component of the digital transformation
From this point of view, it is therefore imperative to take into account the fact that cybersecurity and the protection of privacy are a shared responsibility between the different actors operating in the digital system. Hence the importance of setting up a framework for dialogue leading to a balanced public-private partnership. Youssef Ait Kaddour is considered one of the best cybersecurity specialists in Africa. And Huawei has been present on the continent for several years. In terms of cybersecurity, the Chinese company has launched several specialized programs to address cybersecurity challenges. One of them is “Seeds For The Future”, a program aimed at training young talents in new cutting-edge technologies. The 2021 edition in Mali notably enabled students to attend an introductory course in cybersecurity and the approach developed by the company in this area. In the Huawei Southern Africa region, several young Malagasy people are beneficiaries of this program. Namely, moreover, that in Africa, the group’s activities are carried out through two geographical entities: Huawei Northern Africa, a structure which brings together the 28 mainly French-speaking countries above the equator and Huawei Southern Africa which includes the other countries of the continent including Madagascar.
According to Youssef Ait Kaddour, these entities are very active in the cybersecurity segment to support governments and companies, but also to raise awareness and train the general public. On the side of public officials, it is recognized that the phenomenon causes significant losses. Hence, it was recalled, Madagascar’s decision to adopt a data protection law in 2014 and more recent cybersecurity legislation in 2016. privacy does not promote trust in public and private digital services and creates risks for all users. Finally, let us recall that the first seminar dedicated to cybersecurity organized in Madagascar was held in April 2022. The event notably saw the intervention of Eric Vautier, Chief information Security Officer of Groupe ADP and director of the ACI Europe Cybersecurity Task Force, Christian Rakotomavo of the IT company NextHope, Ina Johannick Randriamanantena, Chief Information Security Officer at Ravinale Airports and Jonathan Yaonya Djie, Chief Information Security Officer of the Axian Group.