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Windows 7: Galaxy Backbone punctures media report, explains telepresence architecture for FEC meetings

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Galaxy Backbone Limited
Galaxy Backbone Limited, has refuted the report by an online news platform alleging that its virtual meeting architecture runs on Windows 7.   

At this critical stage of efforts to limit the spread of the COVID -19 in the country, the Federal Government is applying measures to safeguard its personnel, by using Telepresence facilities deployed by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE), through the Galaxy Backbone (GBB) Limited, a parastatal under the ministry.

Last Wednesday was the second time FEC meeting was held using the Telepresence facilities. But a report in a section of the media, TechEconomy.ng exclusive, tends to show that the facilities are vulnerable to cyber attacks due to the supposed Windows 7 usage.

Windows 7

A screenshot of the image in contention

In a statement made available to TechEconomy.ng, Managing Director/Chief Executive of Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammad Abubakar, said that the photo of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy which precipitated this wrong assertion was taken in the Network Monitoring Center (NMC) of the Uptime Institute Tier 3 certified National Shared Services Center, a Data Center operated by Galaxy Backbone Limited.

He further explained that the screen is a display of monitoring activities around GBB’s network across the country. The computing systems running this monitoring are offline.

The MD/CEO states as follows:

“It has come to our notice, rather unfortunately, that there are unfounded and mischievous insinuations from some quarters that the virtual Federal Executive Council meetings coordinated by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and executed by Galaxy Backbone Limited with support of NITDA (the regulator of the sector) and NigComSat is being held on a platform running a deprecated operating system, thereby presenting potential security issues.

“Ordinarily we would not have responded to the write-up, but in the interest of the reading public we are compelled to provide some clarifications.

“The photo of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy which precipitated this wrong assertion was taken in the Network Monitoring Center (NMC) of the Uptime Institute Tier 3 certified National Shared Services Center, a Data Center operated by Galaxy Backbone Limited.

“The screen is a display of monitoring activities around our network across the country. The computing systems running this monitoring are offline.

MD, Galaxy Backbone

MD/CEO, Galaxy Backbone Ltd, Professor Muhammed Abubakar

“There are systems that are specially designed such that absolutely no feature changes can be tolerated for the life of their devices; examples medical control equipment, PoS systems, ATMs, Digital Signage, etc. Such systems typically have a 10-year servicing and support lifecycles. This is where our network monitoring system belongs.

“The computers that support this network monitoring system are about 10 in number and all enjoy extended Windows 7 Security Updates until 2023 (please see HERE for details). As an organization with the ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 certifications, we take IT service and information security management very seriously and upgrade our systems as need be, based on those standards.

“We want to assure our fellow citizens that the virtual Federal Executive Council is holding on cutting edge technology infrastructure with all compute components up to date with a very robust network security system with Next Generation Firewalls forming a ring fencing around it. The video conferencing system does not run on a Windows operating system.

“While we appreciate the feedback and interest from citizens around what we do, please rest assured that we are an organization made up of seasoned, well trained, and vastly experienced ICT professionals, determined to continue to provide the best infrastructure to support the Federal Government’s Digital Economy initiative that is being driven by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under the able supervision of the Honorable Minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami)”.