Cybersecurity now ‘top issue’ as Nigeria enters digital broadcasting era

Cybersecurity now ‘top issue’ as Nigeria enters digital broadcasting era

Cybersecurity now ‘top issue’ as Nigeria enters digital broadcasting era

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Nigerians have been alerted that cybersecurity will become a key issue the country switches from analogue to digital broadcasting.

Mr. Emeka Mba, ex-Director General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the nation’s broadcast regulator issued the alert amid spate of cyber attacks that have targeted broadcasting organisations across the world.

While delivering a presentation at the National Cyber Security Awareness Month Conference (NASCAM) held last week, Mba noted that as Nigeria moves into the new digital broadcasting ecosystem, cybercrime territory is expanding from just within the IT sector to also include the broadcast industry.

In the presentation titled ‘Cyber Security and the Emerging Digital TV Ecosystem: Implications for infrastructure, for capacity, for policy and regulation’, the former NBC DG said as NBC is currently working on the Digital Switch over, security and privacy should also be issues of concern for the regulator.

He said the broadcast regulator should recognise and escalate the issue and conduct an industry-wide threat analysis to probe vulnerabilities and build defensive walls against cybercrime in digital broadcasting in Nigeria.

When the term cyber security or cybercrime is mentioned, most people would only imagine it to be an issue within the IT sector without considering the broadcast industry as a potentially vulnerable area of cybercrime.

He said the broadcast regulator should recognise and escalate the issue and conduct an industry-wide threat analysis to probe vulnerabilities and build defensive walls against cybercrime in digital broadcasting in Nigeria.

Cybersecurity now ‘top issue’ as Nigeria enters digital broadcasting era
Mr. Emeka Mba, ex-Director General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the nation’s broadcast regulator, seen in photo, issued a cybersecurity alert amid spate of cyber attacks that have targeted broadcasting organisations across the world.

Mba however informed those in attendance at the conference that “times are changing, as we embrace more Internet-based services and protocols in broadcasting and convergence of not only services and equipment, cyber security in broadcasting is fast becoming a development that our industry is only beginning to contend recently.

“It would seem to most broadcasters that cyber security is not a serious concern to them at this time, perhaps because they do not deliver IP-based services. However, it is still expedient to conduct a checklist of secondary IP or Internet exposure along the broadcast chain: from content creation, editing, remote contribution and transmission, especially remote transmission monitoring.”

Cybersecurity now ‘top issue’ as Nigeria enters digital broadcasting era
Mallam Is’haq Modibo Kawu, Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)

The former DG believes that as broadcasting becomes more reliant on digital and Internet technologies, it would become even more vulnerable to new kinds of threats, especially cyber attacks.

“This is even more so for services that are heavily reliant on Internet Protocol-based technologies for their core operations. Internet technologies driving ‘technological convergence’, everything now is connected, broadcast signals now digitized; signal monitored, remotely connected to the Internet; Smart TV sets connected to the internet; the signal is connected to the power grid; the power grid is connected to a computer,” he said while highlighting areas of vulnerability in the digital broadcasting chain.

He related that on April 8, 2015, hackers penetrated the French broadcaster TV5Monde, crippling email and production facilities, hijacking social media accounts and disrupting the transmission of 11 channels for three hours. This can happen in Nigeria too if measures are not taken fast to prevent it, he said.

Noting that the switch to digital broadcasting “is a logical and necessary process for broadcast companies to keep pace with technological development, and to benefit from the efficiency of digital media network distribution,” Mba stressed that “any system based on delivering digital media over the Internet is potentially vulnerable to cyber attack from outside.”

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Success Kafoi Journalist at Technology Times Media. Mobile: 08077671673 email: success.kafoi@technologytimes.ng