FPG Technologies and Solutions Limited, a member of Flexip Group, and a leading technology solutions provider and systems integrator has raised alarm over the low level of attention by organisations on cybersecurity, a global issue which poses a threat to both businesses and the entire Nigeria’s internet gateway.
“Our internet gateway in this country is obviously vulnerable and the top leadership in different organisations seem not to understand the implications of cyber attacks,” Rex Mafiana, managing director at FPG Technologies said in an interview with journalists in Lagos on the sidelines of the company’s fifth year anniversary.
He argued that cybersecurity is becoming a proper business risk which organisations must find appropriate solutions to mitigate, rather than giving a deaf ear to the situation.
“Top management are not paying attention to technology and now cybersecurity. This is an issue that should be discussed at the board level because that is where the right measures and support structures can come from to fight cyberattacks,” Mafiana said.
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According to him, if the board understands that cybersecurity will have a huge negative implication on their business they will start taking the necessary measures in terms of financial investments and governance structure.
Explaining what it means for Nigeria’s internet gateway to be vulnerable, he said Nigeria is getting attacks from Algeria, Venezuela and other places because of the vulnerability loopholes with little or no firewalls to protect the country’s internet gateway.
An Internet gateway is a network node that connects two different networks that use different protocols (rules) for communicating with firewalls to avoid unwanted traffic from foreign sources.
“I can’t imagine these small countries doing this to Nigeria. But the problem is that the leadership (in Nigeria) does not understand,” he further stated.
Mafiana qsaid personal idenfiable information such as financial records, and medical records are confidential information that should personalized and not be given out to a second party. “All those information on BVN the banks are collecting, where are those information and who has access to them?”
He said there is limitation in terms of understanding and the knowledge of cybersecurity at the top level, which is affecting the proper attention that is supposed to be given to the issue.
“For now, Nigeria does not have the products or solutions that are needed to prevent or fight cyber attacks but we can buy from foreign countries, that is the only way to get the internet gateway secured.
“If we decided not to buy from foreigners simply because we think if we do, Nigeria will be vulnerable to them, then such mindset should be killed off completely,” he advised.
Confirming that there are unreported cases of cyberattacks in Nigeria, victims of such attacks in Nigeria are not charged by law to disclose such incidence, which is unlike in the US where you disclose the information once you are breached.
“Can you imagine what will happen if a bank in Nigeria announces that it was breached?” This will not happen because they are not compelled by the law to do that. Once this kind of law is in place, it means any organisation that gets hacked must disclose it. This way, they are advised on the necessary actions to be taken to fix the vulnerability loopholes,” Mafiana said.
He however commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for always issuing out frameworks intermittently to ensure cybersecurity resilience amongst the banks in Nigeria.