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UK empowers 10m digitally-vulnerable Nigerians against COVID-19

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UK empowers 10m digitally-vulnerable Nigerians against COVID-19

By Prince Osuagwu & Juliet Umeh

The United Kingdom, UK, government has facilitated the training of over 10 million digitally-vulnerable Nigerians through CyberSafe Foundation, a non-governmental organisation in the information security ecosystem.

The training is to help reduce vulnerability of this category of Nigerians to the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund, which came through UK’s Prosperity Fund Digital Access Programme, was part of UK’s cyber risk mitigation support to Nigeria’s COVID-19 response.

The fund also helped CyberSafe in facilitating the Safe Digital Community during COVID-19 Project.

According to the Executive Director, Cybersafe Foundation, Confidence Steveley, the fund facilitated the equipment of digitally vulnerable groups and 1,504 SMEs across 35 states in Nigeria, even as it helped up-skill 3,057 employees in cyber safety essentials.

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The digitally vulnerable groups are mainly people with limited digital experience, and Steveley said her foundation used the fund to help raise the awareness of over 10 million of such people in safe cyber hygiene, enhanced online security, and safer digital community.

She said: “We utilised the grant to carry out novel cyber awareness campaign which saw to the creation of  informative radio programmes, cyber awareness comedy skits, ‘No go fall maga’ among other innovative strategies.

“With the help of UKAID and 18 volunteer cybersecurity expert trainers, the Foundation was able to empower the participants which cut across all sectors, including technology, real estate, transport and services, Oil & gas, retail/manufacturing, fashion, hospitality and leisure, healthcare, Charity, education, consulting, financial services, among others.

“Through the ‘No Go Fall Maga’, cyber awareness comedy skits, more than 3.3 million people were educated on vishing, multi-factor authentication and phishing.

“Statistics also showed that the SME upskilling and upscaling cybersecurity training garnered a lot of results. With 1,504 SMEs participating, 40.7 percent of the beneficiaries are female-owned.

“Prior to the training, 57 percent of the beneficiaries could not identify a phishing email.

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“The post-training review indicates that 83 percent of them understand prevalent attack vectors and preventive measures and 76 percent have now implemented one or more security controls”, Steveley explained.

Meanwhile, the UK Government’s Head of Digital Access Programme and Country Adviser, Idongesit Udoh, said: “The first run of the Safe Digital Community during the COVID-19 project recorded an enormous impact courtesy of the excellent delivery by Cybersafe Foundation.

“The project afforded approximately 3,057 employees the opportunity to get cybersecurity training, raising the bar in cybersecurity preparedness for Small and Medium Scale Businesses in Nigeria. It also impacted millions of Nigerians via social media and radio.”

Udoh admitted that CyberSafe executed massive work through the radio and did a novel cybersecurity awareness song in collaboration with ace music producer and singer, Cobhams Asuquo, which was played 3,973 times on 32 radio stations across Nigeria.

“In addition, 13 episodes of the ‘No Go Fall Maga’ radio drama series created reached more than 5.2 million radio listeners. And an intensive social media mass awareness campaign saw close to 10 million people digesting 20 short cyber hygiene videos developed by the team,” he added.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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