Wednesday , December 1 2021

Experts call firms’ attention to phishing attacks as Nigeria lost $800m to Cybercrime in 2018



With high increase in the raid of cyberattacks in Nigeria, Experts in Information Technology (IT) industry has called on firms to pay closer attention to targeted phishing attacks.

They noted that Nigeria has lost over $800 million to cybercrime in the country.

This was contained in the latest Nigeria Cybersecurity Report (2018) unveiled in Lagos at the Nigeria Cybersecurity Summit 2019 organised by Data & Scientific Inc with supports from Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) and Gemalto.

The report disclosed that although there was 17% increase in organisational spend in cybersecurity from 2017 to 2018 and 50% of Board Members are getting involved in cybersecurity matters, organizations and individuals still fall victim of cyber attacks in Nigeria.

The report was a product of study carried out by Demadiur, Serianu Limited, ISACA (Lagos and Abuja chapters), United States International University-Africa and Africa Cyber Immersion Centre (acic) with contributions from NCC, NIBSS, E-PPAN, ATCON, NiRA, CeBIH, CSEAN, IXPN and Interglobal Limited.

Within the period under review, it was recorded that locally engineered malwares are on the rise as increased frauds are recorded through the mobile

The third edition of Nigeria Cybersecurity Report (2018) shows that reported crime incidents to the police has reached 21%, although successfully prosecuted cybercrimes cases stand at 2.6%.

The report indicates a serious skills shortage with just 3,500 cybersecurity (skilled) professionals in Nigeria.

Consequently, there are skills shortage at senior management and mid-management levels. This shows that about 70% of companies operating in the market are faced with talent shortage.

Also, the report identified constraints faced by organisations while recruiting cybersecurity professionals, such as; lack of technical experience and lack of professional certifications.

ALSO READ: Nigeria ranks 7th among top 20 countries affected by spam calls, SMS globally

Speaking to journalists, Engineer Ikechukwu Nnamani, chairman, Demadiur, said the key focus of the 2018 report was on cybersecurity skills set and they realised that the country is ill-equipped in terms of number of experts to address the challenges.

“So, there is a need to have people well-trained in that space and also have a certification process to ensure the right skills set are acquired even without going through a long process.

“Given where the country is today we realised that the traditional four-year educational system to train people in that space, we do not have it. We probably need specialized programs to address different skills and areas that need to be covered.

“As the country is transitioning to a Digital Economy cybersecurity will become a bigger risk compared to what is obtainable before now”, he said.

Engr. Nnamani further called for attention to cybersecurity among public sector institutions as cyber criminals are focusing attention on them

“That is because the government is now looking at implementing digital economy for the country. The moment we do that we are going to see a lot of public sector (services) now migrating to the digital platforms and that is where you run the risk of cybercrime affecting it”, he explained.

“There is a lot of indigenous solutions focused on cyber security. A lot of indigenous companies are involved in this area; developing solutions that are localised.

“We also noticed that because cyber security is becoming a global challenge, most countries focus on resolving their issues first before they will have time for other places. And at that point you pay a premium for their solutions to support you. If you don’t develop local solutions and build the skills set you will run into problem”, he added.

Comparing the 2017 and 2018 report, Engr. Nnamani identified that there are areas the country recorded improvements.

According to him, “We noticed that awareness is increasing especially at the management and board level. They are beginning to take cybersecurity more serious compared to the 2017 report. We also noticed the number of successful prosecution has gone up.

“Also, the number of experts have increased; though not enough. The number increased from 2,000 to 3,500. That is an improvement, but as the report has shown, it is still a far-cry from what needs to be on ground.

Asked if the contents of the report are still relevant for organisational decision-making based on the fact it was unveiled almost at the end of 2019, the Chairman of Demadiur responds, “Yes. It is like reading your Bible which remains fresh every morning. The information and data contained there are not time-bound. It is knowledge and issues or risks highlighted are still there. The solutions proffered, we will keep having needs for them. The only reason we tried to use time to classify them is that each year we focus on a particular theme, but the content of the report remains timeless”.


About Bukola Olanrewaju

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