By Omobayo Azeez
Experts across various sectors in Nigeria have assembled to chart new ways towards winning unending lingering wars against cyber-attacks and frauds perpetrated via electronic channels in the country.
As the pundits assembled at the Nigeria Cyber Security Summit 2019 recently held in Lagos, they brainstormed to dissect the current state of affairs in the country as well as proffer strategies to ending cyber crime attacks, hinging their discussion on the theme of the event – “Combating the Global e-Fraud”.
At the annual summit organized by Data & Scientific Inc., Toronto, Canada, in collaboration with the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), the experts, in their discussions, stressed the need to bridge technical gap, develop more manpower, and create policy environment that can engender safety for online engagements.
In his presentation titled: “The Essential Preventive Security Infrastructure for Mission Critical Data”, the chief executive officer of Data & Scientific Inc., Tope Akinbiyi, stressed that cyber security begins with secure infrastructure, zero trust and authentication with non-repudiation.
While stating that the business case for zero trust and social engineering phenomenon are not going away anytime soon, Akinbiyi said e-mail compromise alone has cost corporates huge fortune.
“Addressing the trend of cyber-attacks requires skilled experts and unfortunately, this is still in short supply,” Akinbiyi said.
He continued: “There are many areas of the skill gap that the youths can be trained on. This will create employment opportunities for them and this indeed is job demand of the future. The female gender in particular can leverage this to be productive and at the same time shun physical stress.”
Akinbiyi also offered guidelines to businesses and government establishments to prevent reputational damage and loss of competitive advantages, urging them to take adequate precautions to safeguard their operations from the prowl of cyber criminals operating either internally or outside their systems.
Similarly, Ambrose Azeta, a professor and Head of Department (HOD), Computer Science, at Covenant University, explained in his presentation titled “Regulatory Compliance in the Era of Zero Trust” that compliance culture to cyber security measures among corporate organizations is poor.
Azeta urged businesses and other vulnerable targets of cyber-attacks to learn more about creating a compliance culture in their operations by encouraging a better understanding of what data privacy means, and why it is so important.
He also stated that cyber-crime has advanced to the level of using artificial intelligence (AI) to perpetrate the unwholesome act, adding “the same level of sophisticated technology is required to fight back.”
Meanwhile, the President of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Muhammed Rudman, warned that except with necessary and timely intervention, “Cyber-attack will cripple the economy.”
Represented by the executive secretary of the association, Edith Udeagu, Rudman said the country’s financial sector, health, public sectors, privacy and intellectual issues, among others, will all be at the mercy of cyber attacks if decisive preventive measures are not applied.
He however emphasised the need to intensify awareness in the country to encourage self-consciousness among individuals.
Rudman said, “We need to keep doing awareness and this is one of the purposes of this summit. By the time everybody is aware of the right thing to do and we have the right policies in place, and we implement them accurately to the letter, then, we can say that we are relatively safe.
“We should be aware that these hackers never stop; they are always on the prowl to create their next victim and who they can devour, but if we have the policies, the awareness, and we over and over again review how these are being implemented to be sure that we are up-to-date, we would have surmounted some of the challenges.”