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Group advocates cybersecurity awareness month for Nigeria

Group advocates cybersecurity awareness month for Nigeria
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The Centre for Cyber Awareness and Development (CECAD) wants Federal Government to designate October as National Cybersecurity Awareness month for Nigeria.

The Nigerian non-governmental organisation (NGO), CECAD, said in a statement made available to Technology Times that setting aside October as Nigerian National Cybersecurity Awareness month “as being done globally”, will help draw local attention to the rising wave of Internet crimes.

Olubayo Abiodun, Director of Communications, CECAD, says that “as the largest economy on the continent, Nigeria must take the lead by showing the way for other African nations to emulate in the protection of its national assets and citizens from cyber vulnerability. Nigeria must lead for others to follow.”

People walk by in Ikeja Computer Village, Nigeria's largest technology market cluster. Photo: Kolade Akinola/Technology Times
People walk by in Ikeja Computer Village, Nigeria’s largest technology market cluster.                    Photo: Kolade Akinola/Technology Times

According to him, the media stakeholder group wants the Federal Government, through the office of the National Security Adviser to adopt the cybersecurity awareness month because of “increasing threats of cyber-attacks to national security, economic crimes, political instability and social insecurity as a result of the vulnerability of national, corporate and private databases via identity theft.”

Abiodun says that CECAD is set to collaborate with the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari to raise the bar on the multi-stakeholders awareness across government, corporate institutions and private citizens through the principles of the Public Private Partnership (PPP).

“Criminals, terrorists, and countries with the intent to harm have found the information superhighway a veritable platform to execute their attacks. To this radicalized minds, attack online is often easier to execute because across the world, corporate and national and individualized information are being digitalized in conformity with transformation of the global community into information society (digital economy); which encompasses e-government, e-commerce, e-health, cashless society, e-learning, digital entertainment, and e-agriculture among other electronic engagements in all spheres of life”, Abiodun says.

[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]CEDAD says that “the reality of the threats in the Nigerian nation have been underscored by the reported unauthorised access to the database of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) resulting in the leak of the personal profile of the undercover personnel of the State Security Service.[/quote]According to the CEDAD Communications Director, “as more and more sensitive data is stored online, the consequences of those attacks grow more significant each year.”

According to CEDAD, e-fraud is now the fastest growing crime in Nigeria, and the media group wants to deploy its national network to “facilitate a robust month-long awareness campaigns for the public and private institutions in order to mitigate the dangers lurking in the cyberspace with the activities of the cyber criminals.”

CEDAD says the month-long series of activities would be delineated to accommodate sectoral weekly emphasis on every facets of the lives of Nigeria.

Participants at Lagos Social Media Week
Connected Nigeria: Participants at Lagos Social Media Week 2016 held in Lagos

The programme will include weekly awareness focus on government and its agencies, banks and financial institutions, education, health, tourism, transport, military/security communities.

CEDAD says the central theme would be on how to enhance safer connections to the Internet without compromising corporate and individual safety.

“Families will also enjoy primary attention in the course of the awareness programme in order to ensure the safety of all and sundry, particularly children from dangers inherent in the uncontrolled access”, CEDAD says.

CEDAD’s Abiodun says that, “as a consequent of this, the Nigerian nation and its citizens have been under increasing threat from cyber-attacks following the proliferation of digital platforms in the rapid integration of its social, political and economic facets into the digital economy.”

CEDAD says that “the reality of the threats in the Nigerian nation have been underscored by the reported unauthorised access to the database of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) resulting in the leak of the personal profile of the undercover personnel of the State Security Service.

Similarly, the database of the National Assembly was recently hacked and the result was the unauthorised publication of the names and contact information of the elected officials in the legislative arm of government. More profound is the unreported humongous losses being daily recorded by the banks and other financial institutions through identity theft by cyber goons.”

Olubayo Abiodun, Director of Communications, CECAD
Olubayo Abiodun, Director of Communications, CECAD

The group explains that with the “alarming threat to the corporate and financial health of the nation and its citizens” there is a “strong need for the Nigerian government to play in the global league of awareness community by adopting October as the cyber security awareness month as is the practice in the United States of America, South America, many European countries and other parts of the world.”

According to the group’s image maker, Abiodun, “this has become very imperative, particularly in Nigeria because of the multilayers national databases spread across various agencies like the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS), banks, Police, Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), which government has directed to be harmonised by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). In addition, some state governments and embassies are also involved in the collection of biometric details of Nigerian citizens which could be subjected to further cyber-attacks if the awareness consciousness is not properly coordinated in the country.”

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