The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) says the Federal Government should according priority to capacity building and research initiatives in cyber security.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]The NCS President says that “National Cyber-crime Advisory Council should work with NCS and other stakeholders to implement the Cyber-crime Act 2015 and the National Cyber-security Policy and Strategy. National security measures should however be balanced with privacy considerations and stakeholders should work towards the passing of Data Privacy and Lawful Interception laws.”[/quote]NCS, the umbrella organisation of information technology professionals in Nigeria says that re-energizing of security agencies and the judiciary on expertise in cyber-security and digital forensics is key to combating security challenges facing the country.
The issue of cyber security was a key highlight of the discussions at the 26th National Conference and 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of NCS held recently in Abuja.
“That there is a great need to build capacity of security agencies, the judiciary and related stakeholders in ICT, Cyber-security, Digital forensics and related expertise to understand and combat 21st century national security challenges,” Professor Sola Aderounmu, President of NCS says citing growing cyber threats faced by individuals, businesses and government agencies in Nigeria.
According to him, “government and other stakeholders should aggressively begin to develop and support youth capacity building, career development and research initiatives in Cyber-security and plan towards the development of a Cyber-security economic sub-sector that is youth driven, local and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) based.”
The NCS President says that “National Cyber-crime Advisory Council should work with NCS and other stakeholders to implement the Cyber-crime Act 2015 and the National Cyber-security Policy and Strategy. National security measures should however be balanced with privacy considerations and stakeholders should work towards the passing of Data Privacy and Lawful Interception laws.”
According to him , local homegrown IT solutions and research should be adopted to address national safety and security concerns. As such, implementation of the local content policy and public exhibitions and campaigns by stakeholders should be used to showcase local IT capabilities in national security.
He further explains that ”to secure the nation efficiently and effectively, there is an urgent need to develop capability to deploy IT solutions in all aspects of national safety and security, and that the potential of SMAC – IoTs, cloud and mobile should be explored and exploited by security agencies to enhance national security performance.”
He also believes that an integrated approach should be adopted for the management of financial crimes and “compliance will help to better detect criminal attacks, corporate fraud and corruption and ultimately reduce operational costs.”
For the NCS chief, “effective IT-enabled National Safety and Security will only be achieved through meaningful partnerships and collaborations which includes government, private sector, security agencies, academia, civil society, the public, professional bodies and relevant stakeholders.”
Aderounmu says that the proactive use of Information Technology (IT) and Geographical Information System (GIS) to achieve national safety and security has become a national imperative while also noting that “the National Broadband Plan should be diligently implemented to spur economic growth and enable broadband deployment to achieve national safety and security.”
For him, the immediate enactment of the Critical National Infrastructure Bill will also help in using technology to address national development and growth aspirations when networks build by telecoms and other communication industry providers are secured by laws of Nigeria.
Aderounmu also recommends that “Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) needs to do more to increase public awareness of cyber threats. As a matter of priority CERTs should work with CBN and NCC to keep Nigerians informed about cyber-crime, social engineering and emerging cyber concerns.”
Other issues highlighted at the NCS event includes the challenges faced by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the forum recommended that it should be addressed to fulfill the national database obligations, and that creative awareness strategies should be adopted to emphasise the need for citizens to register.
The Conference acknowledges the successes recorded so far by the Federal Government in addressing the terrorism threat and commended Barrister Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications “for his determined and inclusive leadership in our increasingly diverse digital environment which has engendered a sense of shared purpose and ownership among stakeholders that is essential for innovation and sector growth.”
The NCS president also commended the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for its development and support of startup, youth capacity building and innovation initiatives to create jobs and wealth, diversify the economy using IT and address terrorism, cyber-crime and other security issues.
This year’s national conference was attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Barrister Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications; Colonel A. O. Awolo, representing the Minister of Defence; Mr. Yusuf Kazaure, CEO, Galaxy Backbone Limited; Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); CEO, NIGCOMSAT, Ms. Abimbola Alale represented by Engr. Oby Okoli of NIGCOMSAT; Engr. Aliyu Aziz, Director General National Identity Management Commission (NIMC); Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Acting Director-General, NITDA and Professor Vincent Asor, President & Chairman of Council, Computer Professionals (Registration Council of Nigeria), among others.