The cybersecurity space has become of critical importance to governments all over the globe, and the government of Nigeria is no different.
Cybersecurity, the Soft Infrastructure Pillar in Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, is a crucial pillar which outlines a vision for diversifying the country’s economy, using digital technologies as a catalyst.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital platforms, leading to a significant increase in cyber threats, and this has proved costly to economies across the globe, including the African economy.
For instance, Cybersecurity ventures estimates that global cybercrime will cost $10.5 trillion by 2025 and according to Resecurity, Africa loses $3.5 billion annually to cybercrime.
In the past, people under 20 were the most resilient to cybercrimes but with the pandemic and the migration of more children to online schooling platforms, there was a 100 percent increase in this age demographic falling victim to cybercrime.
Cybercrime victims in their teens increased from 10,000 per year to 20,000 from 2019 to 2020. This underscores the urgent need for tighter online child protection measures and a commitment to make deliberate efforts to create more awareness and increase advocacy in the nation’s cybersecurity ecosystem.
Cybercrime earns cyber criminals $1.3 trillion every year and the average cost of a data breach on remote work is about $137,000 per attack.
With more organizations adopting the hybrid workplace, the need for cyber security is made even more evident. Also, cloud computing platforms have altered how organizations utilize, share and store information. Though these platforms have provided huge benefits, they however face great threats.
Attacks on such platforms have rapidly increased, accounting for 20 percent of all cyber-attacks in 2020.
Consequently, threats to cloud infrastructure cannot be ignored and the need to provide sufficient security to prevent data breeches is of utmost importance. Nigeria’s cyber ecosystem comprises different participants- the government, the private sector, individuals, cyber devices and processes, all which interact with diverse purposes.
The sustenance of such an ecosystem is heavily dependent on the regulations, frameworks and policies that undergird the system. Therefore, it is necessary that the government creates the right policies to enable the system to thrive.
The 2021 Nigerian National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) identifies the banking, finance, and insurance sector as some of its thirteen critical information infrastructure sectors. The NCPS presents the Nigerian government’s approach to protecting these kinds of critical information infrastructure.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) established the Consumer Protection Department in April 2012 to develop and implement an effective consumer protection framework and promote consumer confidence in the financial system.
The Department performs three primary functions, namely complaints management, market conduct and development, and consumer education and financial literacy.
In 2021, American Business Council Nigeria, Comercio Limited, the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, and USTDA held the 1st Cybersecurity Conference and recommended among others for international collaborators, capacity building, clear standards for data flow privacy and protection standards, online child protection and reporting channels to improve the cybersecurity landscape in Nigeria.
A cybersecurity landscape that grows ever more threatening needs a strong pro-active and well-equipped ecosystem that will provide participants with the most benefits and the least threats. Hence, all stakeholders would need to step up to their responsibilities while also adopting a collaborative approach to strengthen the ecosystem.
The Comercio Limited and American Business Council Nigeria (ABC Nigeria) Cybersecurity Conference 2022 is focused on providing an avenue for the Federal Government to share updates on its cybersecurity regulatory framework with the private sector while also addressing the lack of policy and regulation for cryptocurrency.
Theme: Strengthening Nigeria’s Cybersecurity Ecosystem and Protecting Today’s Hybrid Workplace
The conference will also provide an avenue for the private sector to recognize the new opportunities in the cybersecurity space.
It will promote the idea of a Cyberhub project among stakeholders, with the aim of building capacity across the six geopolitical zones via introduction of curriculum inter alia and providing cybersecurity jobs that will not only be globally competitive but will also help address the brain drain challenge experienced in the cyber space.
Comercio and the partners also want to encourage public-private partnership in capacity building and encourage the creation of mentorship programs, amongst other objectives.
Kasim Sodangi, Director Regulatory & Governmental Services, Smile Identity Inc., Mosa Mkhize, Vice Chair of Covington and Burling’s Africa, Covington and Burling; US Ambassador to Nigeria Her Excellency Mary-Beth Leonard and United States Ambassador to Nigeria, US Embassy in Nigeria; Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Honorable Minister, Nigeria Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and Minister, Nigeria Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy; HM Justice & Attorney-G, Matthew Klein, Director of Coursera’s International Public Sector practice Coursera, amongst others.
The registration link for the conference is HERE.