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Saturday, 21 June 2014

NIGERIA RAISES THE ALARM OVER INCREASING RATE OF CYBERCRIME

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Mohammed Sambo Dasuki, on Thursday, expressed concern over the increasing rate of cybercrimes in the country and its negative effect on the economy.

Dasuki, who spoke at the First National Cybersecurity Forum themed ‘Towards Multi-Stakeholders Partnership for National Cybersecurity Engagement’ held at the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos noted that proactive steps needed to be taken to arrest the trend.

The NSA said that government could not afford to be apathetic because of the cutting edge technology being used by cyber criminals, thus the need to priotise securing Nigeria’s cyberspace.

He said: “Realising the importance of cyberspace, the Federal Government of Nigeria has designated cyber security as a national security priority with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) stepping up efforts towards meeting the challenge by working in close collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure a safer and more secure cyberspace.”

He added that experiences from other countries had shown that national cybersecurity initiatives could best be achieved by adopting a coordinated and integrated approach encompassing Law; Technology; Institutional Capacity Building; Private Sector Partnership (PPP) and International Law Enforcement Cooperation.


Dasuki, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Alhaji Ibrahim Mahe, said that computers and the Internet represented modern tools used by criminals, and that the trend would continue for the foreseeable future because cybercrimes are particularly lucrative.

He said: “They are generally non-violent crimes; yield high profits and have relatively low risk of capture. Incidents of cybercrime have caused extensive loss to the national economies and pose challenging threats of cyber terrorism among nations.”

Giving an overview of the Draft National Cybersecurity Strategy in Nigeria, Ambassador Haruna Wando, Director of Communication, Office of the National Security Adviser, said that the growth of computer technology in Nigerian businesses and personal life, had led to increase in the incidence of cybercrimes from Nigeria and Nigerians residing elsewhere.

He noted that, “The telecommunication and banking industry have been the worst hit by this menace due to its high dependence on the internet and its many online tools. Traditionally, Nigerian Cyber-crime activities appear to be only limited to money fraud Internet based crimes. The recent trend of web defacement or hijacking and e-mail scams has now changed this perception. Web bullying instances are on the rise in the country, especially with the coming into being of social networking websites like Facebook and twitter.

“In order to reflect a more cogent approach towards a more secure cyberspace in Nigeria in line with international baseline standard and global best practice, the Office of the National Security Adviser has been pursuing a number of initiatives including the development of a National Cybersecurity Policy and strategy for Nigeria. It also drafts and proposes relevant laws required to be enacted by the National Assembly for the security of computer systems and networks in Nigeria pursuant to national strategies on cybersecurity.


“The office has also established National Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Mechanism with Early Warning System (EWS) and Alerts for all cyber related emergencies in the country (ngCERT); National Computer Forensic Laboratory and coordinating the training and utilization of the facility by all law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies.”

Nigerian banks on the other hand, lost over $200m last year. Details on this can be found "HERE". Increasing rate of cybercrimes brought high concern to multiple organizations across the continent and world at large.

The young generations have been encouraged to grow interest on cybersecurity field as the demand is rapidly growing. Read more on this "HERE". Huge numbers of opportunities have been constantly available. According to CBS news, salaries for cybersecurity personnel have been increased to more than $200,000 to $250,000. Details on this can be read  "HERE".