Professor Charles Dokubo
By Soni Daniel
Abuja – Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo yesterday, warned that reliance on computer systems, wireless networks and ubiquitous internet-enabled smart devices including smart phones and television has made Nigeria vulnerable to potentially debilitating attacks.
He lamented that the internet-driven world is fast-paced and leaves little room for individuals and organizations to properly guard very sensitive data or documents.
Dokubo spoke in Abuja, while delivering a paper on ‘Cyber Security and Economic Development’, at a workshop organized by the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria. The event held at the Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers.
He said findings from several studies and research on Cyber security had warned that due to malpractice by operators, Information Technology security personnel are susceptible to being tricked into deviating from secure procedures through various methods of social engineering.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, our daily activities are now being almost totally controlled by computer. This predominant, and possibly overawing importance on computer systems, the internet and wireless networks such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and of course the ubiquitous internet-enabled smart devices, including smart phones, televisions and various tiny devices, have also made us vulnerable and susceptible to potentially debilitating attacks. More than ever before, we have all become extremely vulnerable to attacks and possible exploitation”, Dokubo warned.
Findings, he said, have shown that in Nigeria, cyber attackers are increasingly turning to crypto currency, with the most common attacks on crypto currency exchanges, which allows buying and selling using different currencies.
Dokubo predicted a high demand for cyber security talents globally in the near future, with the increasing shortage of skills and rising cost of technologies. “A quick fix for organizations is to look towards outsourcing their cyber security functions, as a plethora of reports indicates that there will be a continuous increase in demand for cyber security services/functions from cyber security service providers. This request would come from all sizes of businesses and the demand for cyber security talents would not just be local but global where there is already a massive shortage of supply.
This is expected to lead to migration of skills outside Nigeria and servicing of other African and Western markets from Nigeria. Upcoming graduates and undergraduates will continue to eye cyber security and would start acquiring the necessary skills needed to thrive in the field of cyber security, as it is fast becoming one of the most lucrative skills globally”.
Noting that cyber security is a critical driver of economic development and Nigeria cannot afford to be left out or lag behind, he urged the Federal Government to take the lead in entrenching the culture of cyber security in the country. “The Federal Government, I believe, should facilitate and encourage innovation through the development of public research institutes, financial incentives, and global linkages”.
Dokubo, an erudite professor and nuclear scientist, described his task as Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme as tough, but expressed gratitude to God for the privilege to serve the nation.
He reiterated his determination to assist President Muhammadu Buhari to deepen the prevailing peace, safety and security in the Niger Delta and the entire Gulf of Guinea, adding that the overarching goal is to achieve sustainable development in the region.