By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA—The federal government has lamented the loss of over $450 million dollars to cyber attacks in 2015 alone, saying drastic measures must be taken to arrest the trend.
Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu, stated this in Abuja at a conference on “Cyber Security, Technology Optimization and Development” organized by the Abuja chapter of the group, Information Systems Audit and Control Association, ISACA.

According to him, Nigeria experienced a total of 3,500 cyber attacks in 2015, leading “to a loss of about $450 million.”

The Communications Minister said that the ICT sector contributed 12.62 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP in the second quarter of 2016 and announced that the Federal Government was putting together a national broadband policy “to ensure an 18 per cent broadband penetration by 2018, up from the current 6 per cent.

He charged ISACA to ensure proper use of its applications to enhance a secure cyberspace.

“I am aware of the many strides that ISACA has achieved in the USA with the contributions of the use of its COBIT in the governance and management of public institutions.

‘’My personal challenge to ISACA, Abuja, is to ensure that such efforts are domesticated in Nigeria. We must influence our space, define our space and prepare adequately to defend it. We want to see not just a working technology and applications, but we want to be assured that such technologies are safe and used properly,” the minister said.

On his part, the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Dr Isa Ibrahim, said his agency would be working in close collaboration with ISACA to evolve solutions that will address the menace, saying Nigeria cannot function properly if it is vulnerable to cyber attacks.

The president of ISACA, Abuja chapter, Mr Chimenka Ezeribe, said ISACA was committed to promoting positive use of technology to improve the quality of life for individuals and organizations.

“While we do not downplay the realities of security incidences, we want everyone to achieve the full potential of technology. The tasks before us are enormous but very possible and we must provide practical steps to assist individuals, organizations and the society at large realise the benefits of technology”, he said.

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