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Nigeria’s fight against cybercrimes ranked 57th globally

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Cyber secutity

•Cost may reach $2 trillion by year end
Nigeria’s campaign against the menace of cybercrimes in the country have been ranked 57th out of the 175 countries surveyed in 2018 to have commitment towards a safer online space. It ranked fifth in Africa.
   
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), through its Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), which conducted the study, claimed that Nigeria’s commitment towards fighting the threat is medium. Nigeria is in the same category with United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Kuwait, Tunisia, and 50 others.
   
The commitment of United Kingdom, USA, France, Egypt, Kenya, and 49 others was ranked high, while Gabon, Algeria, and 86 others were ranked low.
   
Recall that the former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, had decried the rise of cybercrimes in Nigeria, saying the country was losing N127 billion yearly to porous online space.
    
Last week, Sophos had revealed that cybercriminals had increased their attacks via multiple channels, hence increasing the difficulty to defend networks. This multiple channels of attacks also imply that there is no one defensive strategy.
    
Noting that the wide range, multiple stages attacks are proving effective, Principal Research Scientist, Sophos’, Chester Wisniewski, said cybercriminals are evolving their attack methods and often use multiple payloads to maximise profits.
   
Meanwhile, while calling for more concerted efforts among nations, ITU, the United Nations arm in charge of global communications, said studies have shown that global average cost of a data breach was up 6.4 per cent in 2018. Due to the boost in the use of ICTs, the projected cybercrime cost will be an estimated $2 trillion by the end of 2019.
   
According to ITU, there have been less ransomware attacks, but more personal data and critical infrastructure breaches, including in hundreds of universities.
   
The UN body noted that there is still a visible gap between many countries in terms of knowledge for the implementation of cybercrime legislation, national cybersecurity strategies (NCS), computer emergency response teams (CERTs), awareness and capacity to spread out the strategies, and capabilities and programmes in the field of cybersecurity. It stressed that sustainable development in this area should ensure the resilient and adequate use of ICTs as well as economic growth.

According to ITU, the goal of the GCI is to help countries identify areas for improvement in cybersecurity, as well as motivate them to take action to improve their ranking, thus raising the overall level of cybersecurity worldwide.
   
The body said through the collected information, GCI aims to illustrate the practices of others so that countries can implement selected aspects suitable to their national environment, with the added benefit of helping to harmonise practices, and foster a global culture of cybersecurity.
   
Going forward, ITU said cooperation will play a major role in cybersecurity development. With the increasing interest in cybersecurity knowledge sharing and transfer in organisations, cooperation among relevant stakeholders such as central government, local public authorities, the private sector, academia, civil society, and international organisations become imperative.
   
ITU also called on countries to join the initiatives carried out in their regions to provide support in cybersecurity awareness and capacity building. In the Africa region, the UN body said member states can participate in the ECOWAS Convention on Cybersecurity, the SADC cyber drills and capacity building activities, and the East African Initiatives.
    
Already, software firm, Microsoft, had called for safer online community in Nigeria for improved economic growth.
   
Microsoft said the call became necessary following increasing phishing attacks on the Nigerian community, which it said is the biggest security headache for businesses and individuals, is among the hardest to tackle. The American technology company said phishing increased by over 250 per cent in Nigeria, and other parts of the world.
 


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