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Ransomware rises by 435% as experts alert businesses to more threats

By Comfort Oderemi
21 October 2022   |   2:36 am
Referencing the World Economic Forum global risk report 2022, which disclosed that Ransomware menace rose by 435 per cent in the last two years, experts have alerted Nigerians and businesses to further attacks.

Referencing the World Economic Forum global risk report 2022, which disclosed that the Ransomware menace rose by 435 per cent in the last two years, experts have alerted Nigerians and businesses to further attacks.

At the third ThinkNnovation Cybersecurity Conference 2022 organised by the Financial Institution Training Centre (FITC) in conjunction with Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS), themed, ‘Accelerating the adoption of Cybersecurity’, the experts said urgent measures must be taken to stem the tide.

Experts from diverse industries in the financial services sector across the world addressed the cybersecurity threats, urging financial institutions and businesses to be wary of the antics of cyber criminals, who are on the prowl.

Partner, Technology Risk Consulting, KPMG, Canada, Chimaobi Ezeibe, said: “Cyber risk is no longer a technology problem; it is a board-level problem. It is something that is evolving faster than people are adjusting to, and everybody is just playing catch up.

“Cyber-attacks have become so complex and so structured that we now have state actors. Some hackers are being funded by governments to carry out attacks. This is more than a man with a briefcase and a laptop with access to the Internet.

“It is becoming the new oil and gas and it has been projected to become more profitable than drug shipping by 2025. This is why every business must be proactive about cybersecurity. We don’t want to be pushed by circumstances to make a decision. Let the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic be a warning; let’s be deliberate.”

The President and Chairman Board of Trustees of the Information Security Society of Africa, Nigeria (ISSAN), Dr. David Isiavwe, noted that in 2020, over $400 million was paid out in ransomware, whereas in the year before $93 million was paid out, suggesting that cybercrimes increased four times.

Isiavwe said organisations are increasingly interconnected and dependent on digital business processes, which amplifies the impact of cyber threats and attacks on every area of their operations.

A panellist and Practice Leader at Afenoid Enterprise Limited, Opeyemi Onifade, said: “Cybersecurity has become a business risk, if you do not focus on it at the board level, your organisation will not survive. It is not a question of if you will be attacked; it is a question of when. So, organisations have to be ready.

“Most of what our organizations do today in terms of cybersecurity is just to achieve regulatory compliance. It is more than that. We have to move from compliance to maturity. There should be an incidence response plan and the right people to execute it. You should also have good practices in place.”