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Cyber security in Nigeria – challenges and solutions


Privacy is highly challenging to maintain in Nigeria. Nigerians register for various digital services after providing a huge amount of personal data or information. The collected data comprises bank details, cell phone numbers, name, address, date of birth, income, and even data about how much one spends. For most people, this is just a formality that they’re bound to perform before using a particular online service. However, why can services get such extensive access to personal data? While the situation in other countries is not ideal, it is not as severe.

According to a report on exposure to cyber-attacks, many countries in Africa are placed in the high-exposure category. Experts indicate that Nigeria might be one of the regions that continue to increase its cybersecurity measures. However, its exposure classification is still high. Let’s explore more of the cybersecurity tendencies in Nigeria to get a better picture.

Cyber Attacks in Nigeria – How Bad is the Situation?

Nigeria has been a sweet spot for cybercriminals. 60% of Nigerian firms have witnessed attacks in 2018. The country had spent nearly $270 million on their cybersecurity infrastructure after that. Thus, data is being stolen, and the sad part is that none of the companies are properly reporting data theft and losses.

However, probably the biggest issue is the lack of information that consumers in Nigeria receive. Many countries have laws forcing companies to disclose data breaches, together with mitigation recommendations. However, such rules were not included in the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR). Of course, breaches hurt reputations and might encourage consumers to look for other options in the market. Sadly, the secretive attitude does not help companies to go forward and learn from others’ mistakes.

Change in Attack Target

It has been noted that in 2020, the majority of the small and unprepared companies were targeted by hackers. These companies followed inadequate cybersecurity strategies and protocols in place, which led to easy data breaches. The primary targets shifted from bigger organizations to smaller companies offering mobile devices, cloud-based systems,IoT devices, and SMEs.

Change in Magnitude of the Attacks

Since awareness regarding cyber-attacks has improved over the last 5 years, companies have started putting in place robust security mechanisms. Now hackers and scammers are shifting their focus to larger attacks that target masses like Phishing attacks and ATM frauds.

Identification and Authentication

Hackers are resorting to credential harvesting for carrying out a wide range of data breaches across the globe. Nigeria is no different as there have been several incidents of data breaches. Users and companies are installing secure services like Atlas VPN on their devices, including smartphones to prevent hacking of essential data. These tools have resulted in identity protection as all data exchanges between the server and the devices are occurring within a safety bubble. End-to-end encryption offered by a free VPN along with security measures like two-factor authentication is highly effective in warding off unwanted hacking attempts

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