Cybersecurity: FG reiterates commitment to protect Nigeria’s digital economy

November 4, 2021
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From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja

The Federal Government on Wednesday has restated its commitment to boosting trust and confidence in Nigeria’s digital economy by ensuring adherence to a ‘sound cybersecurity culture and hygiene’.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta, made the statement at the 2021 annual Cybersecurity Conference in Abuja.

The conference was organised in conjunction with the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA), with the theme “Building Trust in the Digital Economy through Cybersecurity, and Sensitisation on the Implementation of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) 2021”.

Danbatta, who was represented by Mr Adeleke Adewolu, NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, said the event was aimed at bringing strategic stakeholders together to brainstorm on cybersecurity issues that would enhance, protect and boost Nigeria’s digital economy.

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The EVC emphasised that trust and confidentiality as enshrined in global best practices would promote a healthy digital environment, to guarantee the privacy and integrity of digital data.

He advised that the digital economy must be built on trusted technologies and partnerships in order to improve digital trust and confidentiality which would, in turn, ensure strong cybersecurity that rides on the public’s confidence, security, privacy and safety to bolster responsive regulations, transparency, accountability and digital governance.

He said the pace at which technology advances, acceleration of innovations and enterprise in the digital space intensifies vulnerability opportunities, which malicious parties were quick to exploit, thereby slowing down the gains of the digital economy.

He informed that strong cybersecurity would have the advantage of diminishing the surface of weaknesses in the digital economy that can be exploited.

Danbatta called on all cybersecurity stakeholders to key into the NCPS 2021 to stimulate the adoption of its various components, adding that it is a collective responsibility as no single government, business or individual is immune or can do it alone.

‘NCC is in the forefront of ensuring a sound cybersecurity culture that is built on people, process and technology,’ he said.

‘The launching of NCC sectoral CERT is a testament of our resolve to promote a healthy digital environment.

‘Our various cybersecurity awareness initiatives and campaigns are helping the public understand the risks in digital space and how to reduce the vulnerability opportunities that adversaries can benefit from.

‘Our collective resolve is to continuously boost trust and confidence in our digital economy by ensuring adherence to sound cybersecurity culture and hygiene, internally and with external partners as well as stakeholders.

‘We call on all cybersecurity stakeholders to key into the NCPS, 2021, and accelerate the adoption of its various components. Cybersecurity is a collective responsibility as no single government, business or individual is immune or can do it alone,’ he said.

Also speaking on the sidelines, the General Manager, Legal Services, Regulatory and Compliance at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Hadiza Dagabana, disclosed that the commission employs the services of ethical hackers to occasionally penetrate its system in search of any possible vulnerability or loopholes.

Dagabana said there was a need for Nigeria to prepare its digital systems for possible attacks as practised in developed nations.

‘Cybercrime is an ongoing thing. Even the most developed nations are always prepared to tackle attacks as they come. Nigeria needs to be prepared for any attacks. You don’t look at protection against cybercrime as the responsibility of the government. It is the responsibility of every individual to develop cyber hygiene,’ she noted.

Brig Gen Samad Akesode, Director of Communications, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), who spoke on strengthening the country’s security, told the participants that the office was building stronger collaboration with major actors in the security sector to guide the digital economy and beyond.

According to Akesode, several workshops being organised were in line with the vision of the present administration to ensure that cyber security issues were brought to the forefront for unravelling.

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