Akunna Ejim/Washington DC

Developing a solid cybersecurity framework and securing critical IT infrastructure is imperative, now that governments and many organisations put their data in the clouds

The Symantec Government Symposium held on 11 March 2014 at the Renaissance Hotel Washington DC. It is the world’s largest annual information security event for government audiences. Even though the main focus of the event is on best practices to secure America’s critical infrastructure, other countries can also gain useful information from the issues raised by the country’s top IT experts.

•Carahsoft Technology Corp Reps, participants at  the conference

•Carahsoft Technology Corp Reps, participants at the conference

During the symposium, the experts examined some of the biggest challenges faced by governments today, such as the sharing of cybersecurity information between government and industry, securing cybersecurity infrastructure, leveraging new cybersecurity technology across government and industry, best cybersecurity policies, emerging opportunities and best practices.

With the rapid utilization and growth of IT globally, two of the new realities of the modern age are cyberwar and cybersecurity. Make no mistake about it; cyberwar is war on a whole new frontier – the vast expanse of cyberspace.  The war is continuous and requires a proactive, rather than reactive approach, to respond to the challenges, and to protect a nation’s cyber infrastructure. Hackers and foes constantly target whole countries with online attacks.

Nigeria is not left out of this growing menace and must actively engage in measures to effectively protect the country’s IT infrastructure. The development of a protection plan to safeguard against the numerous cyber-attacks is one of the new areas of national defense.

•DLT Solutions Reps, also at the conference

•DLT Solutions Reps, also at the conference

Two of the greatest challenges to ensuring security in government IT are the joint issues of mobility and Bring Your Own Device, BYOD.  Mobility simply means that government employees, and the employees of large firms with sensitive data, now have the ability to telecommute, or work from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. This poses a unique set of challenges for data protection, application security, and identity management.

While it is true that Nigeria is a mere fledgling when it comes to data collection and management, ensuring the protection of data within the various government agencies is still paramount, and also a matter of national security. Now that the storage of data is being moved more to the cloud, away from physical storage devices, the protection of this treasure trove of data is absolutely essential.  The theft of identities by cyber criminals, especially with the push for a cashless society ought to be prevented, while citizen data and information must be protected at all costs.

…Published in TheNEWS magazine