9th May, 2018
Some cybersecurity experts on Wednesday urged governments to create more awareness on the implications of cyber fraud on global and national economies.
The experts made the call in Lagos at the opening of a conference organised by the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN).
The two-day Cyber Secure Nigeria 2018 conference had the theme: “Mitigating Cyber Threats in the Digital Age”.
Mrs Helen George, Chairman, U.S. Branch of CSEAN, said that the awareness was critical because of the need to protect citizens’ data.
According to George, cybercrime is not only about stealing money or stealing credit cards.
“It is also about terrorism, terrorists no longer use their hands to commit crimes; you can destroy a whole nation by the click of a keyboard.
According to her, governments – local, state and federal – and private organisations must recognise the need to enact laws against cybercrime.
“When this is done, people will know that they are not supposed to this or that.
“As a citizen, you must be conscious of any information you put out there.
“We must be security conscious, we must know that it is not every link which somebody sends to you that you must click.
“We must know that our personal computers need to be secure; we need to put anti-virus on them, making sure that it is renewed regularly.
“These are the things you can do to reduce exposure of your computers to cyber threat,” the cybersecurity expert said.
George said that cybersecurity must be taken seriously in both public and private sectors.
“Government officials are actually prone to cyber attacks.
“As a government official, as a political person, people want to know what makes you tick.
“They want to know somethings about you. If it is not already happening or has not happened, it is going to happen.
“I am aware that the government is trying to update the cyber framework; it is trying to update the privacy and the data law in Nigeria.
“I want to encourage it and Nigeria not to take it lightly; we have to be aggressive about it,” she urged.
Mr Olatinji Gbalajabi, National Project Manager of CSEAN said, “The terrain in Nigeria is quite sophisticated and the rate of the attack alarming.”
According to him, reports and researches have shown that Nigeria is among the countries that suffer much cyber attacks.
“There are a lot of technical guys in Nigeria who are involved in cyber crime.
“The truth of the matter is that quite a number of the Nigerian youths are technically saddled but not fully engaged.
“There is no better environment for them to demonstrate their expertise; the quick money-making syndrome has also led to cybercrime,” he said.
He said that government had a lot of roles to play in sensitising the society to the dangers of cybercrime.
He said that there was the need to identify youths with a technical inclination and help them to use their talents rightly.
“Government should look at developing cyber soldiers.
“These are guys that government can use to work as cyber soldiers.
“Government should identify young individuals with the skills, bring them on board and let them know they can use their skills to better the lots of the country rather than ruining its reputation.”
“This shows that Nigerian youths need a better environment to use their skills for ethical purposes.
“Cybersecurity has come to stay. It is important we are aware and conscious of what we do on the internet.”