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With cyber secure conference, body fights threats in digital age

By Melody Fidelis
09 May 2018   |   4:22 am
I’m Remi Afon, president of Cyber Security Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), and CEO Lynsec, a cyber security consultancy firm that has its headquarters in London with branches in Abuja and Brussels.

Could you please tell us who you are and what your organisation stands for?
I’m Remi Afon, president of Cyber Security Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), and CEO Lynsec, a cyber security consultancy firm that has its headquarters in London with branches in Abuja and Brussels.

Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) is a non-profit organisation made up of Information security professionals, centred on a collective purpose and vision of championing the cause and awareness of Information security best practices, acting as an agent of change to address Cyber Crime phenomena through engaging intellectual minds, business and political leaders. CSEAN was established as an advocacy group to galvanise the movement and development of Information Security in Nigeria.

What does cybersecure conference entail?
Cyber Secure Nigeria conference is the premier security event in Nigeria hosted yearly, parading sought-after guests and speakers both nationally and internationally. This year’s conference will be of particular interest based on the fact that there is now international focus on Nigeria in terms of cybersecurity and cybercrime. Recently, Secureworks Counter Threat Unit researchers released a report on a group of Nigerian cybercriminals code named ‘Gold Galleon’ targeting maritime industry via business email compromise (BEC) and business email spoofing (BES) fraud to dupe their unsuspecting victims into parting with millions of dollars. It is estimated that between June 2017 and January 2018, the cybercriminals attempted to steal upwards of $3.9 million, and on average, fraud attempts theft level may reach $6.7 million per year.

Also, it’s no longer news that millions of Nigerians data were allegedly harvested from Facebook and used in a targeted online campaign with the aim of influencing the outcome of 2015 election allegedly by Cambridge Analytical. President Muhammadu Buhari’s email was also allegedly hacked, when he was the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress.

All these point to one fact – We need to be more serious about cyber security as an individual, as an organisation and as a nation. Nobody is immune to cyber attack.

Who is expected to be at the conference?
Cyber security experts and aspiring professionals from within and outside the country are expected to attend the event with speakers drawn from industry leaders locally and internationally. The special guest of honour is Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State. Confirmed keynote speaker is Consul General F. John Bray, the Consul General of US Embassy and Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria. Ag, Chairman EFCC Ibrahim Magu and Prof. Umar Danbattam Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC will also deliver keynote addresses.

What is the theme of the conference and what informed the choice of the topic?
The theme of this year conference is Mitigating Cyber Threats in the Digital Age. The choice of the topic is informed by the fact that organisations and governments are now providing most services online to their clients, so, the size of cyber-attack is growing rapidly. Cyber threats and attacks are constantly growing and becoming more sophisticated, dangerous and damaging. It is a top priority for businesses to protect their networks, computers, and information from unauthorized access and breaches.

What is the significant of this conference and how can it add value to national security?
This conference will focus on how businesses can protect themselves from falling victims of cyber-attacks and also teach participants on how to mitigate cyber threats in a digital age through workshops, technical sessions, plenary sessions and breakout session.
In terms of national security, some topical issues will be discussed such as, nation state and election manipulation, social media and data driven targeting in 2019 general elections, data espionage and others.

What informed the choice of Lagos for the fourth edition and what has been your experience and constrain in the last three years.
We want to target private organisations and sensitise them about cyber threats and trends, so Lagos being the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria naturally ticks the box.

What else would you like to share with us on cybersecure?
We are introducing something different and interactive this year called Cybersecurity Table Top Exercise. This is a break out session where all conference attendees will participate in the process of drafting cyber-attack playbook on attack scenarios and make a cyber breach decision while participating in cyber crisis management.