Nigeria: Minister calls for cybersecurity awareness, warns against opening strange emails, pirated software

WorldStage Newsonline– Nigeria’s Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami has made a case for more awareness on cyber security, warning Nigerians against opening strange emails and using pirated software.

Pantami who gave the charge at the annual cyber security conference organised by the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) with the theme, “Strengthening the Security and Resilience of the Nation’s Communications Infrastructure” held in Abuja said, globally the “faster growing crime is the cyber crime, growing at the speed of light the cyber crime is higher than physical crime and is the east way were criminal generate huge money.

“Today there are no more physical crime but cyber crime and  is the easiest and safest way where criminals generate money more  easily.
“Furthermore,  if you look at the statistics in the US alone, they discover that for the first four years, cyber crime is the fastest growing crime in the country. In 2018,  cyber crime industry generated a minimum of 1.5 trillion USD, while social media associated crime generated a minimum of 3.5 billion USD, bitcoin crime alone generated 76 billion USD and this is only within 2018.”
The minister emphasised that with the cyber crime Act 2015, the security of telecommunications infrastructure had been categorized as  critical infrastructure in the country, attesting to the fact that the Federal Government of Nigeria had discovered that strengthening the security and resilience of telecommunications infrastructure was key to the economy, and very critical to the success of our nation as a country.
He said, “The best way for us to ensure that we secure our cyberspace, I think is to create awareness. Awareness is key, let people know that when you go online, you are exposed. You need to take some precautions to ensure that you minimise the risk that you’re exposing yourself to and if we create that awareness, it will go a long way in actually reducing the cyber crime we have in Nigeria. Many people do not know the implications of just receiving an email without knowing the source they just go ahead and open the attached mail, this is one of the way our system is being compromise.
“And secondarily, through using pirated software, we usually look at the cheapest  one  if you go for the cheaper, while the probability of compromising your system is high. This is another issue, number three, we need to be updating our applications.”

 

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC in his remark said the maiden annual cyber security summit was in recognition of the importance and centrality of collaborative efforts in the advancement of cyber security measures to provide precautions and protection of critical communications Infrastructure.

According to Danbatta, “the event was designed to provide a platform for discussion on developing a joint coordination for incidence response for the communication industry, introducing cyber insurance, bridging the cyber workforce gap, strengthening national cooperation, exchange of information, and development of comprehensive strategies that will address the cyber security challenges confronting the communications industry in Nigeria.”

The EVC stated that in addressing cybercrimes and boosting cyber security, technical measures and appropriate legal instruments must be put in place to enhance the resilience and integrity of ICT infrastructure and also to safeguard activities in the cyberspace.

While restating the Commission’s efforts towards ensuring that the Internet is safer to use, Danbatta emphasized the role of education to mitigate the negative impacts of cybercrime. The EVC highlighted the measures being taken by the Commission as follows: Collaboration with relevant stakeholders to embark on a nationwide cyber security awareness; Establishment of a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team (CSIRT) Centre; Collaboration with relevant security agencies in the development of the National Cyber Security Policy; Development of Technical Framework for the Use of Social Media Network in Nigeria; Development of contents for consumer awareness and collaboration with stakeholders on the development of Data Privacy and Protection Act; and carrying out a comprehensive risk and vulnerability assessment of the communications infrastructure and the industry.

The EVC also informed the audience at the conference that the Commission will soon commence a multi-stakeholder process for the development of an Industry Wide Obligation of Minimum Cyber Security Provisions which will apply to all operators.

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