By Business a.m. live
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Monday urged all mobile operators, including MTN, Glo, Airtel, Etisalat and Ntel to initiate a regular cybersecurity audit to forestall hazards related to data loss in the face of an outbreak of malevolent virus Ransomware in the cyberspace.
The regulator also alerted all telecoms subscribers, especially those who use their smartphones as substitutes to computers for Internet access to protect themselves and their devices by not opening e-mail attachments/links from unknown sources; not clicking pop-ups and applets on unknown websites and installing effective antivirus software for their mobile devices.
NCC, in a statement, said the Ransomware is capable of infecting and encrypting all files on a system or any smart device until an amount is paid for a decryption key, or other means of retrieval (which may lead to data loss) to recover the system as an alternative.
“This situation demands that proactive measures be taken by all players in the telecommunication eco-system to forestall the hazards of critical data loss, financial losses and ultimately network/business disruption,’’ it said.
The Commission urged Nigerians, as protective measures to among others; obtain software patch released by Microsoft in March 2017 to fix the Ransomware Virus; plan scheduled penetration tests on the networks and systems to ensure protection and availability at all times.
It stressed that all operators should continue to ensure that their backup/disaster recovery strategies are in place and up to date. It equally advised all operators to ensure continued deployment of effective firewalls, login passwords and antivirus management regime.
NCC said it is working towards creating a link with the Cybersecurity Alert System on its website so that current information on global cyber threats/incidents could be immediately communicated to stakeholders.
Meanwhile, stakeholders who reacted to the news of the outbreak called for the introduction of software army in the country and a national software legislation that must be backed by law.