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Prepare for massive cyber attacks, Deloitte warns Nigerians

UNLESS adequate measures are taken, such as completing the National ID card and other biometric-based identification projects, Nigeria, an emerging market is likely to witness cyber-security issues on a large scale this year.

This follows indications from a report, Nigerian Cyber Security Outlook 2015, by Deloitte. The global consulting firm said in the report that “in 2015, we are expecting newspaper front-page headlines to include issues around cyber security incidents.”

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Claiming that most predictions in its 2014 cyber security outlook were accurate, the firm cautioned that its 2015 outlook must be taken seriously as “hackers are always one step ahead; this is a gap that must be bridged.”

Cyber threats

As a result the firm predicted that the cyber attacks may reduce towards the year-end if there is “a successful implementation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and electronic ID by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).”

The most likely cyber threats, according to Deloitte, will come from phishing and insider operations as crude went on to define phishing as a “form of social engineering that attempts to acquire sensitive information such as user names, passwords, and ATM card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Phishing is a continual threat that keeps growing to this day. The risk grows even larger in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace etc.”

Other threats identified by Deloitte in the report include socially and politically motivated cyber-attacks, 2015 being an election year.

“With the coming elections in 2015, there may be an increase in the cyber-attack on the websites and information technology (IT) infrastructure of political organizations and public institutions possibly as a means of expressing grievances.”

“Insider threats are seen to increase “as companies take austerity measures such as downsizing and salary slashing due to the falling crude oil prices and the devaluation of the Naira.

Devaluation of the naira

There is a higher risk that employees, former employees or contractors resort to cybercrime as a means to maintain their standard of living,”the report added.

The firm warned in the report that companies will hold their senior level executives more accountable and possibly fired for security breaches if adequate measures are not in place.

It also added that “the unending battle in cyberspace calls for a more proactive, predictive and robust system that can match tools and techniques used by cyber criminals.

Organizations need to ensure they increase vigilance of their assets, learn from previous mistakes and deploy appropriate countermeasures in order to survive in 2015.”

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