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Nigeria should be more proactive in fighting cybercrime — ISSAN

By Juliet Umeh

Association of banking sector  information security experts, the Information Security Society of Africa and Nigeria, ISSAN, has tasked Nigeria to become more proactive in fighting cybercrime.

US, ITF
Cybercrime

The group said that despite Nigeria having some of the  more effective measures against cybercrime, the country is still worse hit for lack of awareness and sheer individual carelessness.

President of the ISSAN and Goup Head Operations and Tech, Ecobank, Nigeria,  Dr. David Isiavwe at a press meeting recently said the issue involving 77 Nigerians indicted for cybercrime by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, is regrettable for a country that is known as one of the fastest developing economies in the world.

For Isiavwe, the country should not be suffering double jeopardy of losing to cybercrime in banking and other sectors and also lose international image due to the activities of citizens abroad.

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Recent statistics estimated that ministries, departments and agencies  lose over N127 billion annually to cybercrime which amounts to 0.08 percent of the country’s annual Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

Also, another report from the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum, NeFF, has it that a total of 63,895 bank customers lost N3.6bn to cyber fraud in two years, 2017 and 2018. This was disclosed by the Chairman of NeFF, Mr. Sam Okojere, while presenting NeFF’s 2018 annual report.

Speaking on how Nigerians could be proactive in the fight against  cyber crime, Isiavwe admitted   that Nigeria was not doing badly, but  should update strategies to match  the dynamism of the cyber criminals.

He said: “Indeed, from what we have seen, a lot of our systems here are even safer from what obtains outside the developed countries.

“One of the key mechanisms that the Central Bank of Nigerian, CBN, has done is to introduce the Bank Verification Number, BVN, and Two Factors Authentication, 2FA. 2FA simply stands for two levels of authentication such that for one to be able to access any system, the person will require something that he knows. It can also go to a third level, the Three Factor Authentication.

“Then banks and organizations also have various levels of security called layered security. So if the fraudsters break through one, they will meet another block and if they break that one, they will still meet another one. All these are to ensure that the systems are safe and secured for customers to carry out their transactions,” he said.

He also revealed that CBN have mandated banks to start using facial recognition for customers using Automated Teller Machine, ATM. He said if an ATM does not recognize the person’s face as the owner, the transaction will decline.

Isiavwe also said the association is working with other stakeholders to ensure there is adequate level of awareness and ensure that people exercise hygiene measures while carrying out transactions.

He said, “A lot of Nigerians still ignore security messages on the ATM, so we are going to ensure that the message now comes in form of audio. As soon as people insert their ATM card, they will be hearing the message and they cannot block their ears.

He advised telecommunications networks and other organisations that want to start handling cash to spend enough time in testing the products that they want to deploy to avoid problems.

“They should not create back door on the systems and products they deploy. When back door is created, anybody who finds that door will go in.

Also, they must be compliant to all standards already in place.

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For Nigerians doing transfer with their mobile phone, he advised that they must put antivirus update on their phones.

Isiavwe said: “Antivirus will prevent malware from attacking your phone and stop people from stealing your credentials.

“Then lock your phone as well as your subscriber identification module, SIM. This will hinder anybody who steals your phone from making use of both the phone and the SIM card.

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