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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Nigeria Minister, Others Express Concern Over Increasing Cybercrime

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Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga is a graduate of Mass Communication from Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, Nigeria. He is an aspiring investigative journalist. Email: talk2hamzaabaga@gmail.com

NIGERIA: The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami and the American Business Council (ABC) are concerned about the increased activities of cyber criminals in Nigeria and other parts of the world. 

Speaking at a virtual cybersecurity conference organized by ABC in collaboration with the Department of Communications and Digital Economy and the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), Pantami said that cyber attacks are increasing at a rapid rate with more malware released.

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Pantami noted the rising impact of cybercrime worldwide, especially with a large proportion of the activities being moved to online platforms in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He called for collaborative efforts to limit the growing influence of the threat in Nigeria and other parts of the world. 

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During the meeting, it was revealed that new malware was released every day within 4.2 seconds. It has been pointed out that one of the problems facing Information Security Officers CISOs is how to deal with the large volume of malware that is attacking the public.

Effects Of Cybercrime

It should also be noted that the damage caused by cyberattacks is not only increasing but will, unfortunately, lead to an estimated $5.2 trillion in losses worldwide by 2023, according to Accenture. 

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The meeting noted that this represents more than 35 per cent of China’s GDP, 137 per cent of Germany’s GDP, or more than 173 per cent of the GDP of the tire African continent. 

In aggregate, the loss to global economies is expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025, so the “lost network” economy will be the second largest. third after the United States and China.

ABA President and CEO of IBM West Africa, Dipo Faulkner, emphasized that the increase in the number of Internet users is certainly accompanied by an increase in cybercrime. 

Faulkner said the Coronavirus pandemic that has caused the share of work done in cyberspace to increase has caused a major shift, noting that in Nigeria alone, mobile Internet users have grown from 68.5 million in 2019 to 85.26 million by 2020.

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“Nigeria ranks 16th out of the 20 international countries most affected by cybercrime in the FBI’s Internet crime report released in 2020. This shows the urgent need to pay attention to this sector, Faulkner said.

Remedy 

To tackle this growing problem, Faulkner said ABC has developed local talent to create innovative solutions to cybersecurity problems during a cyber hackathon that started on September 8.

From his perspective, Microsoft General Manager, External Affairs and Legal Affairs John Edokpolo said, “you need certain data to stay in the country, data classification is very important. The risk is to make sure that you don’t outperform the data. You find out that in the UK less than five per cent of data is too secret, and because data storage and application taming comes at a heavy price.

Lessons Learn 

 Highlighting the lessons for Nigerians, Julian Forester of USTDA said businesses and agencies need to look at where there are risks, what threats are unique to them and what their priorities are.

Senior partner, Punuka Anttorneys, and Solicitor Anthony Idigbe says the private sector has a role to play in terms of voluntary compliance, as they suffer the most from cyber breaches.

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