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‘Cybercrime may become next pandemic’

By Adeyemi Adepetun
10 December 2021   |   4:10 am
Cybersafe Foundation, a cyber-security awareness creator, has called for more awareness in tackling the growing menace of cybercrime in Nigeria.

…Cybersafe Foundation, experts seek more awareness to tackle menace
Cybersafe Foundation, a cyber-security awareness creator, has called for more awareness in tackling the growing menace of cybercrime in Nigeria.

Speaking at a forum for cyber security experts, mostly from the financial sector, and IT journalists, in Lagos, Cybersafe urged more collaboration among various security entities in the country.

While it was earlier revealed at another forum that Nigeria had lost about N5.5 trillion to fraud and cybercrimes in 10 years, the experts at the Cybersafe forum, in their various presentations warned that cyber security threats and attacks are not going away, as the phenomenon could constitute the next pandemic, spelling out dangers to corporate bodies, government and individuals refusing to create barricades and walls for their platforms, digital tools and applications against cyber-attacks.

Some of those, who spoke at the event include Mrs Favour Femi-Oyewole, Group Chief Information Security Officer, Access Bank, Abumere Igboa, Chief Information Security Officer, Stanbic IBTC, Dr. Obadare Peter Adewale, Chief Visioner at Digital Encode, Confidence Staveley, Cybersafe Foundation and Bharat Soni, Chief Information and Security officer at GTB Limited.

Femi-Oyewole, while warning that cyber-attacks could be the next post-COVID pandemic, said it was important for organisations and individuals to begin to build resilience and back-ups for their systems, platforms and applications.

She urged organisations to check their ability to bounce back, should they suffer any attack. “If anything happens to you, how quickly can you bounce back? Have you checked your resilience, do you have a backup?” she asked.

Saying that integrity, confidentiality and availability of a good cybersecurity system matters, Femi-Oyewole added: “You need to put necessary measures in place to quickly detect breaches and remedy. Vulnerability is any flaw or weakness that can be exploited.

“There is a need to put in counter-measures to prevent, minimize or report any breaches on time so that corrective measures can be taken immediately.”

According to her, the most important and first level of shield and line of defense against cyber-attacks is the human beings who should ensure that they do not open their systems and media platforms vulnerable.

From his perspective, Soni, who listed the most recent cyber security breaches to include Twitter compromise of2020, Colonial Ransomware attack 2021 and cyber breach of an undisclosed Nigerian Bank 2021, said organisations should work to mitigate cybersecurity challenges such as insider fraud, business email compromises, ransom ware and phishing.

According to him, cybersecurity threats and attacks have become rampant due to technology changes, social economic factors and inadequate criminal justice, adding social media has a challenge to reporting cyber incidents as many people do not check the authenticity of news posted on social media.

Igboa stated that although “we are highly regulated, we still need to know how to protect ourselves”, while Adewole enjoined IT journalists to adequately equip themselves with knowledge of trends in the cybersecurity ecosystem so they could help inform the public more accurately and actively.