Information and Communication Technology (ICT) experts with specialties in software and cybersecurity, have warned Nigeria of looming ‘cyber pandemic’.
The experts are also concerned that Nigeria is not doing enough to give the younger generation enough ground to be prepared for the future cyber-world.
Their concerns are not far from this Check Point report’s prediction that as “People and organizations have suffered greatly from the coronavirus pandemic. Many critical lessons are being learned, but none more important that another devastating crisis could be brewing. A catastrophic cyber event has long been envisioned, and with today’s digitally connected world, a global cyber pandemic is now a reality.
Chairing the year 2020 Beacon of ICT (BoICT) Lecture/Awards, the Managing Director, Mobile Software Solutions Limited, Chris Uwaje, called on IT practitioner to ensure that they bestowed IT culture to the upcoming generation.
According to him, “We are here because we believe in this venture called ICT Nigeria.
“We believe in the digital adventure, but we are doing this, not for us but for the future, the coming generation, we must really bestow something to them.”
He noted that Nigeria has neglected ICT sector, which he said, holds the future of the nation, while adding that the sector must not be allowed to die.
He said, “We must empower the Nigerian ICT sector to be able to spin better than we met it.
“We need to change our mentality in terms of bringing in the digital natives into the industry.”
Uwaje added that these digital natives speak technology from the inside.
He called on the organizers of BoICT Awards to ensure that their next keynote speaker is a digital native, someone between the ages of 15 to 25 years because they speak technology from the inside.
“If you look at the ecosystem of those who have been able to puncture technology, they are all digital natives with average age of 25 to 32 years, because they speak technology from the inside.
“We must recover the lost talents of our youths in technology; we can only dialogue for one purpose of creating the future so that ICT will not die.”
In his keynote lecture, arguably, the most “Credentialed” and Multi-Award winning Pan- African Cybersecurity & GRC Thought Leader, Dr.Obadare Peter Adewale, warned stakeholders in ICT sector to be ready for the impending Cyber pandemic.
This, he said is being accelerated by the rapid adoption of IT, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Obadare who is also the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Digital Encode Limited, gave further insight: “IT comes with some inherent risks and that with its massive adoption; we may likely witness Cyber pandemic”.
“Check Point has predicted that next global crisis will be the Cyber Pandemic. Much is at stake.
“Thus, Cyber Crime is currently the 3rd biggest economy after U.S. and China as can be deduced from the rising losses which are put at $10.5trillion by 2025; according to Cybersecurity Ventures”, he said.
Obadare, who said that the keyboard is the new knife, stressed that Nigeria’s software industry should be bigger than it is today.
According to him, “Technology has changed our lives and the way we do things as a people, COVID-19 also further accelerated the technology adoption in the country.
“With these massive adoptions we are creating digital champions which May likely lead to technology risks, as more people are embracing technology.”
To prepare the country on the looming crises, Dr. Obadare called on both the government and stakeholders alike to start harnessing the potentials of digital natives.
Dr. Obadare, who titled his lecture “Cybersecurity and its Critical Role in Nigeria Economy”, noted that Cybersecurity can take Nigeria out of recession if properly harnessed.
He emphasized that we can change our fortune as a nation with education, especially, if we take capacity building seriously.
According to him, Nigeria needs to engage the digital natives more as IT is, presently, the elephant in the house that cannot be ignored, adding that providing specialized capacity education for our digital natives is what will take Nigeria out of the woods.