According to Surf Shark, Ghana has had over 4 million data breaches this year alone

Data breaches are entering surging levels as African countries are quickly digitizing. In Ghana, 12 data breaches are recorded per every 100 Ghanaians, according to new data from Netherland-based virtual private network (VPN) firm Surf Shark.

The country now ranks ninth among the top 10 African countries recording the most data breaches and 92nd globally. According to Surf Shark, Ghana has had over 4 million data breaches this year alone.

Data breaches are a global problem, but the consequences can be especially severe in African countries.

Businesses including financial institutions and e-commerce sites, that depend largely on digital platforms to carry out transactions and keep private data, can face serious financial consequences of data breaches in African nations, especially since most of the continent is now actively developing its digital footprint.

Much like everywhere else, data breaches are also a huge danger to national security in African countries. Government databases include a lot of sensitive information about citizens, security activities, and national infrastructure. A breach could cause severe consequences, especially for Africa when this year is a big election year.

For instance in Ghana, the Electoral Commission has already been warned to prepare for a potential cyber attack as elections are due in December. With digital transformation permeating electoral processes, the risk of cyber-attacks has become a critical concern that requires urgent attention and comprehensive strategies, the Africa Center for Digital Transformation said last week.

During the 2016 elections, a cyber attack occurred on the EC’s website leading to temporary shutdowns. The Commission acknowledged the attack, although it said the integrity of the election results was not affected.

There are also examples from 2021, when the National Service Secretariate (NSS) suffered a massive database misconfiguration that exposed data of up to 700,000 citizens from across the country, amounting to 55GB of data.

Recently also, the EC faced criticism from civil society actors over the disposal of Biometric Verification equipment, which contains sensitive data of voters.

But in Africa, South Sudan appears to top the list of most accounts breached. South Africa and Egypt come in second and third place respectively.

Find the list of 10 top African countries with the most data breaches in 2024 below. The list covers Q1 of 2024 and was last updated on Apr 15, 2024.

Rank Country Breached accounts Breach per 100 people Global rank
1. South Sudan 89,426,456 813 22nd
2. South Africa 34,561,576 57 39th
3. Egypt 22,577,334 20 47th
4. Nigeria 19,326,746 9 53rd
5. Morocco 16,012,905 43 60th
6. Algeria 10,372,470 23 65th
7. Kenya 5,809,655 11 78th
8. Tunisia 5,777,580 47 79th
9. Ghana 4,016,323 12 92nd
10. Congo DR 3,545,383 4 97th

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