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RANSOMEWARE: Invest in cyber security educ, NCS urges govts

By Emeka Aginam

THE Information Technology Systems and Security Professionals, ITSSP, an Infotech security group of the Nigeria Computer Society, NCS, has called for more vigilance by both public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy to forestall the ravaging of the country’s information system by hackers.

The call followed the damages caused by Ransomware attack that took the world by surprise recently.

President of ITSSP, Prof. Adesina Sodiya, who spoke to Technology Journalists in Lagos, weekend, urged the government and private organizations to invest in cyber security education. Assuring that the group has the mandate of protecting digital assets and all IT-based systems in Nigeria, he said that latest crime in the cyber world occasioned by ransomware attack was intimidating.

“The available statistics showed a staggering figure of more than 300,000 online users in about 150 countries. In some of these cases, systems that support mission-critical applications were affected and some individuals have their means of livelihood put on hold. The situation was so bad that the usability of computerized and internet-supported solutions is being challenged. Although, some level of succours came from certain cyber security experts and organizations by proving immediate security solutions ranging from blocking suspicious attacks to release of security patches.

“We still do not know who is responsible for WannaCry attacks, but we do know that  ransomware was developed out of exploits leaked or stolen earlier this year from America’s National Security Agency, NSA, which had been stockpiling them for use in surveillance. It is believed that this attack is one of the series of cyber-attacks that will be perpetrated in the coming days. The WannaCry ransomware attack is a wake call for individuals, government and business”, he said.

Handling Ransomware: He said that an asset in the fight against ransomware is education. “There is always a need for security experts, IT professionals, corporate organizations and individuals to keep sensitizing the public on the dangers and threats of Ransomware”, he said.

Although agencies of government such as National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, and Office of the National Security Adviser have Computer Emergency Response Teams Units, he lamented that these platforms are not quite efficient and unknown to majority of the citizenry.

Presently, ITSSP, he said has initiated a project on developing an effective and robust online platforms for reporting attack incidences to complement the existing ones. “With this proposed platform, ITSSP will be able to provide realistic statistics on cyber-attacks to government and organizations with a view to mitigate against them.




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