Thursday , October 21 2021

Experts fault FG on data sovereignty, cybersecurity law

Experts in the Information Technology (IT) space has faulted Federal Government on its lack of provision on laws that specifically deals with data sovereignty and gaps in existing cybersecurity law in Nigeria.

This, according to them has created some barriers in the fights against cyber attack and theft militating against the full adoption of cloud services and digital revolution.

The General Managing Director, Comercio Limited, Mrs Aderonke Adeyegbe noted in her opening speech at the international cyber security and Cloud conference held in Lagos that concerns about cybersecurity have made many businesses reluctant to move to the cloud despite its advantages.

Adeyegbe stated that, with the ever increasing reliance on digital technology, Nigeria is now generating huge amount of data thereby joining in the global shift towards cloud-based systems.

In her words, “Data sovereignty has become a big issue in recent years. Questions have been raised about the geopolitical jurisdiction over data generated in one country and stored in facilities located in another.

“In some cases, huge amounts of data have been obtained from citizens of certain countries by governments of other countries, without their permission.

“This is one more headache for the contemporary Nigerian business”, she said.

Adeyegbe explained that many countries have enacted laws aimed at preventing the transfer of data from their citizens to agents from other countries without their permission.

“Although Nigeria has provisions in certain of its laws that touch on this issue. But it does not have a law that deals specifically with data sovereignty”, she pointed out.

Speaking further on the Business of Cybersecurity and Cloud in 21st Century Nigeria, she noted that privacy and security concerns are the main barriers to the adoption of public cloud in Nigeria.

“It is easy to demonstrate the benefits of the cloud for businesses: it reduces the number of IT resources they have to maintain in-house; it allows them to scale their infrastructure to match user demands, and it cuts waste and saves costs on processes. But uncertainty over privacy and security is such a big issue for many organizations, that it outweighs the aforementioned benefits”, Adeyegbe said.

She, added that, the vulnerability of Nigeria cloud system to attacks has increase the interest of cybercriminals.

According to her in 2016, Cybersecurity Ventures, an organization researching the global cyber economy, projected that cybercrime could cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021.

This figure is double the losses attributed to cybercrime in 2015. These losses are expected to come from the damage and destruction of data, stolen money, theft of intellectual property, personal information, and financial data, and attacks on business processes, just to mention a few.

In its 2019 Cyber Security Outlook for Nigeria, accounting services organization, Deloitte pointed out that the ongoing movement of businesses to the cloud increases cybersecurity threat.

While speaking on the topic “The Cyber Threat Landscape and Cloud Legal Perspective”, the Managing Partner Technology Advisors LLP, Mr Basil Udotai noted that the gaps in Nigeria cybersecurity laws has made it difficult to properly addressed important cybercrime issues.

According to him, it is not surprising that we tend to get more information on hacking incidents abroad than in Nigeria.

Udotai stated the reason to be that in our entire ecosystem in Nigeria, there is no compulsion to disclose breach notifications

“This is because there are no compulsion or any legal obligation that specifies Nigeria companies should disclose when hacked.

“My question is who has ever been prosecuted or convicted for hacking in Nigeria? Our analysis shows that the reported breaches in Nigeria are all low end cases. This makes one wonder, are our networks here in Nigeria so impenetrable?

“The Nigeria electronic Fraud Forum (NeRF) report of 2017 stated that the total fraud volume was just placed at 19,431 that year. Who conducted this investigations and where were the defaulters arrested.

“But we tend to hear greater number of reported cases abroad.

“How come we do not have competent authority handling cybercrime and cybersecurity in Nigeria. It is disheartening that we keep managing cybercrime as if it is a profit and loss business. These are prospects and areas the cybersecurity Acts does not addressed”, Udotai questioned.

About Bukola Olanrewaju

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