Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr.
Anyone or taking part in tech should have heard about cybersecurity and perceive how essential it’s in the present day. Also, the common Nigerian has both skilled or listened to a story or two in regards to the results of cyber-insecurity. However, for the sake of a correct introduction, let’s start in the present day’s piece with a easy definition.
Cybersecurity is all in regards to the safety measures taken towards all doable sorts of fraudulent actions surrounding tech and the Internet. It entails the observe of defending and defending pc methods, pc networks and pc packages from digital assaults. Individuals or enterprises would possibly use this safety and defence, however it all goals to maintain knowledge, processes, and methods protected.
Nigerians give out plenty of knowledge, by no means minding who might get it or how somebody would possibly misuse it. From opening a checking account, registering a brand new SIM card, to attending occasions, we get requested some private questions. Because we see them as hurdles to beat, we give it out rapidly in order that we could possibly be free to maneuver on to different issues. Maybe that is the place the struggle towards cyber-attacks ought to start.
Last yr, experiences shared that in 2018 alone, 60 per cent of Nigerian companies confronted cyber-attacks, dropping about $1tn despite the fact that she spent $270m on cybersecurity. The report revealed that roughly 92 per cent of these assaults got here by way of emails.
The tune about knowledge being the brand new oil is an outdated one, but Nigeria is but to understand this ‘oil’. The quantity of information harvested each day from Nigeria is very large; nonetheless, the mismanagement of this oil is like that of the crude oil of which we as soon as boasted. History appears to be repeating itself.
Presently, there are 4 areas the place Nigeria would possibly lose the cybersecurity battle, and I’m afraid it might quickly enhance to 5.
The banking sector
Let’s begin with the banking sector. The Internet has grow to be a big a part of this sector, and this has led to the e-banking providers. With these providers got here alternatives for criminals to function.
From financial institution verification quantity scams, phishing, theft of financial institution playing cards, to stealing info from these playing cards at automated teller machines ATMs), the chances are seemingly limitless for cyber-criminals, who appear to be having a area of the day, because the banking executives have left it to the consumer to guard his knowledge. I perceive that there should be some private duties on the a part of the customers, however the banks for my part can do significantly better by ramping up user-education and consciousness.
The e-commerce sector
The e-commerce sector is one other space the place the safety degree just isn’t reliable. E-commerce permits gross sales of product and providers, digitally, and this has grow to be yet one more avenue for theft. We see software program piracy points and the theft of mental property (IP), resulting in the illegal replica or sharing of content material, video games, and software program.
Some of those criminals additionally assist ‘crack’ software program so that individuals might use them with out going by the appropriate processes to realize permission.
A pal lately suffered a case of gross sales fraud. He paid in full for a pair of sneakers that he admired, and the seller stored giving excuses as to why he couldn’t make the supply. Tired of going backwards and forwards, even after together with a lawyer, my pal needed to write it off as a mistake, and he forgot in regards to the product. Sales fraud and forgery is one other cybercrime practised in Nigeria underneath the guise of ‘pay before delivery’. Aside from it planting seeds of mistrust within the sector, it has made many Nigerians lose substantial quantities of cash.
The academic sector
In the Nigerian academic sector, copy and paste is the deal of the day. This observe can be IP theft. Content is taken and shared with out applicable reference to the supply. This cyber-plagiarism is a rising downside with college students, however it has additionally precipitated points on Social media.
Social media platforms
Talking in regards to the social media, the rising case of cyberstalking, with the complement of harassment, blackmail scams, charity funds scams and social hi-jacking, shadows the enjoyment and usefulness of those platforms.
Let’s face it; these challenges will stay if the duties of safety of information and different rights are left solely to customers of those sectors and platforms. We can’t clamour for digital inclusion if we haven’t discovered a option to defend the common consumer from the hazards of the digital economic system. That is the explanation cybersecurity consultants have to get proactive and put all they will into the preventive, as an alternative of healing, measures. They ought to develop superior cyber-skills and make use of the appropriate instruments.
Blockchain and crypto world
Aside from the areas talked about above, there might quickly be one other the place Nigerians will expertise cyber insecurity. Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria formally outlined digital belongings as an merchandise underneath its regulatory umbrella. This information implies that the nation’s regulators will register and approve digital belongings and deal with cryptocurrencies as commodities. In abstract, cryptocurrencies grew to become authorized in Nigeria.
According to Google traits, Nigeria ranks first in the case of on-line seek for ‘Bitcoin’. This info offers a glimpse into what might occur now that it has been made authorized; using cryptocurrencies will rise. It is anticipated that the delivery of enterprises would result in extra phishing makes an attempt and different types of cyberattacks.
Nigeria is presently restricted from many transactions everywhere in the world; in the event that they reach gaining recognition as operators of crypto hacks and jacks, it would tarnish the already tainted title we now have as a nation.
The subsequent query is, “what can be done?”
To reply this query with unbiased, I can’t concentrate on the safety consultants alone. I additionally have to alert the customers and gamers on these platforms and sectors. Security is about consciousness and precautions. While wonderful instruments are mandatory for tight safety, precautions can’t lie with the consultants alone.
If any Nigerian would take pleasure in digital leverage in banking, training, communication, commerce, and buying and selling, there may be the necessity to make use of cautiousness and thorough processes. Cautiousness is the main option to keep away from phishing assaults; verify hyperlinks over and once more and keep away from clicking on random advertisements.
Following the observe of wariness, do the fundamentals; use anti-virus software program; this is step one to securing your knowledge. The working methods get uncovered to many viruses, worms and malware, so you will need to observe the first measure of activating anti-virus in your community.
Also, for the cybersecurity consultants, getting up-to-date with the safety degree of superior nations would put together us for the long run. After getting conversant with these, we are able to then construct on that basis, creating options for our challenges.
The Nigerian tech house needs to be a big participant within the international map because the years roll by. With superior know-how exploits, each within the present and rising, extra huge and clever cyber-attacks will observe. The cybersecurity consultants will do the nation and themselves a world of excellent if they begin now to organize for the long run.
The Public Relations and Media Communications Vice President at The Global Institute for IT Management, Ludmila Morozova-Buss, relates that “An increasingly digital world is no longer an abstract concept; it is a reality. As a systems thinker, I strongly believe that an enterprise must strive to synchronise its digital transformation strategy with a cybersecurity strategy.”
It could be unrealistic to count on that cybercrimes would grow to be non-existent, but when the nation’s tech firms hold the long run in view, they’d know what to do, and they’d do it now.
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