Policies to curb cyber attacks is advancing – NITDA DG

The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, says the Nigerian Government has put in place policies that will curb the menace of cyber-attacks in the country.

Abdullahi, who spoke during a Webinar in commemoration of NITDA at 20 organised by Digital Jewel with the theme: “Cyber Risk and Cybersecurity” for Cloud Governance and Security, Cybersecurity Trends, Threats and Failsafe measures, said that Cybersecurity is very essential for the Digital Economy and Digital Transformation within the government, thus making the cyberspace secured by building the confidence of citizens.

Abdullahi, listed the policies as Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015, National Security Agency (NSA)’s Computer Emergency Response Team, NITDA’s Computer Emergency Response Team (MDA’s), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Computer Emergency Response Team (Financial), Nigerian Communications Commission Computer Emergency Response Team (Telecommunication), Defense Space Administration (Navy, Army, and Air Force).

He also stressed that NITDA’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERRT), has been playing a critical role towards curbing the menace of cyberattacks through prompt awareness, cybersecurity tips, monitoring intrusion, leveraging trusted resources, and implementing a response plan for Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and requires the attention of a broad range of stakeholders. It requires an effective public and private partnership that incorporates businesses and institutions of all sizes along with national, state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies to produce successful outcomes in identifying and addressing threats, vulnerabilities, and overall risk in cyberspace,” he added.

“NITDA Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan 2021-2024 is anchored on seven strategic pillars; Developmental Regulations which focuses on indices needed to move Nigeria on the eGovernment Index. “Some of these regulations are regulatory instruments, guidelines, and frameworks that prepare Nigeria for this journey”, he said.

He further stated that Digital Literacy is a pillar that focuses on the capacity building of eGovernment services, noting that it is important to build people’s capacity on the proficient use of digital services.

He described Digital Transformation as another pillar that uses digital technology for operational excellence in governance and to enhance transformational delivery of traditional government services.

“Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Promotion of Indigenous Contents are strategic pillars basically involves the maximum empowerment and use of local innovations to come up with indigenous made solutions for the Nation,” he added.

For him, Emerging Technologies are pillars that encourage the citizenry to develop and adopt strategies for emerging technologies. He said that some of the emerging technologies are foundational techs that cut across so many industries like the blockchain, artificial intelligence, and robotics.

Also, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Digital Jewels, Ms. Adedoyin Odunfa, commended NITDA for the various initiatives put in place, towards the growth and development of Information Technology across the country, changing the way things are done.

She said ‘‘the top 2021 Cybersecurity threat prediction from the Rise of Ransomware which every employee susceptible to a ransomware attack regardless of role, Remote workforce exploitation an employee working from home the temptation for hackers to target remote vulnerabilities will rise, and ineffective Cyber Hygiene which weekly scan should be done to ensure nothing is left exposed on the computer.’’

“Our biggest threats arise from people, while our biggest assets are our people in other to achieve our goals and objectives towards a successful project or program,” she said.

Assistant Director Cybersecurity Department, Mr. Yahuza Ahmed, while making his presentation said that Ransomware attack is on the increase, which is affecting the operations of internet activities around the world.

He cited the KIA Motors attack as an example that occurred some months back by Ransomware activities which affected the activities of the company.

“Critical Infrastructure attacks, the dark side hacker group behind the colonial pipeline Ransomware attack which has lead to low supply of petroleum Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), affecting the activities of the country due to the attack,” he added.

Ahmed said that Government organizations that provide services like National Identity Management Commission, Galaxy Backbone, etc, need to check delivery channels, online presence, mobile presence, Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to improve services that are being rendered to the general public.