Photograph — Manchikoni

Russian multinational cybersecurity and antivirus provider, Kaspersky Lab has announced plans to expand into one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, Rwanda. The new office will be situated at the country’s capital, Kigali and will serve as the first outlet to mark the company’s entry into East Africa’s Cyberspace.

Kaspersky Lab will be working to protect the country from cyber threat and any other technical risks the country may be faced with.

This move was initiated during the Transform Africa Summit held in Rwanda where Eugene Kaspersky, Founder and CEO of the company, met with Rwanda’s President Kagame.

“Government and enterprises across Africa need an integrated approach to complex threat decisions and response as they fight cybercriminals who have significant financial resources and are constantly looking to exploit any vulnerability,” Eugene said.

This strategic development also comes at a time when Rwanda has recalled large losses owing to an incessant cybercrime rate. AllAfrica reported that Rwandan financial institutions recorded about $1.4million in 2016, $2.8million in 2017 and $319.3million in 2018 to cybercriminals. These crimes were mostly perpetrated through counterfeit, lost or stolen cards, online transactions, internal device hack by personnel and also external cyber attacks.

“While a few years ago it was enough to have a strategy to prevent infection, today businesses have to be able to detect when they are infected or hacked, predict hacker behaviour and respond to attacks quickly to ensure minimal damage and impact,” Amir Kanaan, Managing Director (MD) at Kaspersky Lab for Middle East, Turkey and Africa said.

Kanaan also mentioned that the African market will contribute immensely to the growth of Kaspersky Lab’s business. “We see great potentials in the African market, especially with the current digital transformation initiatives that are in place,” he said.

The African market is indeed one that has continued to attract foreign investors, especially Rwanda where several rapid industrialization policies have been set in place to improve the booming economy. Some have even referred to it as the “Singapore of Africa.”

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