October 16, 2021

Cybersecurity: Why organisations must intensify awareness

Social media used to incite violence during #EndSARS protests — NSA

By Juliet Umeh

From records, in the last one year, the cyber security threat landscape has evolved rapidly, and attacks have increased in number and sophistication.

Experts who attended Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria, CSEAN conference in Lagos recently believe that most data breaches in Nigeria go unreported.

In fact, Cybersecurity Ventures estimated that a ransomware attack will occur every 11 seconds in 2021 and ransomware damages are envisaged to cost the world $20 billion this year.

In Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC also disclosed that 80 per cent of its 978 convictions were cybercrime-related offences.

Chairman of the commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said that the rise in cybercrime in Nigeria is alarming and, therefore, called for rigorous public awareness and enlightenment programmes for organisations.

He said: “I want to authoritatively state that as at September, 2021, the commission has recorded about 978 convictions out of this, 80 per cent is connected to cybercrime and cybercrime-related offences.

Bawa, who was represented by the Acting Head of Department, Cybercrime Section, Lagos Zone, EFCC, Mr. Suleiman Jijiwa, said in recent times, the society was rapidly changing to “e-society” where everything is done electronically.

“The society is increasingly relying on the internet and other tools to engage in communication and conduct business activities among other benefits.”

”However, this development has made our e-dealings vulnerable to cyber attacks and negative consequences of security threats.

“Cyber security experts believe that financial damages and losses will reach $6, 000, 000, 000, 000.00 by the end of this year. Studies have shown that cyber attacks are among the fastest growing crimes across the globe.

”This rise was triggered by the huge financial gains on the side of the perpetrators,” Bawa said.

Also, President of CSEAN, Mr. Remi Afon, charged organisations to safeguard their assets while implementing the digital transformation agenda.

Afon noted that digital transformation has resulted in rapid technological advances such as cloud adoption, blockchain implementation, and use of crypto currencies, artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, IoT, 5G and data sciences.

Representing the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), Brigadier General Samad Akisode, Director of Communications, Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, said efforts must be concerted to tackle the menace.

He said there is a National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy roadmap document to address emerging threats in the cyber domain and enhance progressive use of cyberspace by Nigerians.

Monguno said Mr. President has directed the ONSA to coordinate the efforts of all stakeholders across various sectors of the Nigerian economy towards effective implementation of the document.

To this end, he said the ONSA has been organising workshops across seven sectors of the economy.

Representing Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Special Assistant on ICT, Olatubosun Alake, said efforts must be put together to ensure the Nigerian space is safe and secure.