The need for the Federal Government of Nigeria to invest heavily on cybercrime incidence response capabilities at Local, National and International levels has become more glaring, the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has said.
The charge which was unanimously made at the just concluded stakeholders meeting on Nigeria’s Cybersecurity Challenges held in Lagos understudied the alarming rate at which organizations and Nigerians are falling victims to cybercrime activities in the country.
The Information Technology (IT) stakeholders emphasized that government agencies are also not safe, , since the attackers who hack into organisations’ website and data, are becoming sophisticated by the day in breaking strong and multilayered security codes.
NCS, therefore stressed the need for the federal government to establish a National Cybersecurity Agency for Nigeria to protect the country against cyberattacks.
According to NCS, the National Cybersecurity Agency functions would be different from that of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to specifically handle issues relating to cyber breaches, prevention, as well as monitoring all online activities on the Nigerian cyberspace.
Speaking in one of the panel sessions, a Cybersecurity Consultant and Lecturer, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Dr. Morufu Olalere, said: “As of today, no agency of government is responsible for the control of our cyberspace, despite having a National Cybersecurity Law, hence it has become an all-comer affairs where everyone with internet connected device can freely enter the country’s cyberspace without any form of restriction and monitoring. This therefore called for serious concern and the federal government must rise up to its responsibility in addressing the situation.”
Cybersecurity expert, Mr. Abdulhakeem Ajijola, in his presentation on the dangers of cybersecurity, advised the NCS to collaborate with the academia in designing a curriculum that will make cybersecurity, a compulsory course in all tertiary institutions in the country, Ajijola also stressed the need for NCS to develop cybersecurity solutions for law enforcement agencies and to create basic cybersecurity awareness programme for all Nigerians.
Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who was represented by Kayode Emmanuel, said the Nigerian Police needs technology solution to address cybercrime that is perpetrated at the speed of light. He however commended the police for their gallant efforts in combating cybercrime, while calling for support from technology bodies.
As part of the suggestions that formed the Communique signed by NCS President and Executive Secretary, Prof. Adesina Simon Sodiya, and Iyiola Ayoola respectively, the society noted that it will also help by collaborating with other stakeholders on the need to generate grass root awareness on cyber security.
Going forward, NCS will collaborate with other stakeholders in the establishment of Private Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement to finance awareness programmes for the citizenry.
NCS said it will act further on its advocacy business through training and various seminars arrangement as a means of educating the public on the identified threats in the cyber space. The body also advise government to introduce a general course tagged “cyber security” at the entry level of Nigerian schools not only in the tertiary institutions but also at all levels of education.
Furthermore, NCS said the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) policy should be considered for implementation by a newly-created cyber security agency.
It noted that enforcement of the Cybercrime Act 2015 in all sectors of the economy including health and education sectors will do the country lots of good, especially in clipping the wings of cyber criminals.
The Computer professionals stated that government should enforce existing related bills such as Electronic Transaction Bill (for financial online payment systems) and National Critical Infrastructure Bill (for protection of digital assets) to ensure cyber stability in Nigeria.
They equally advised government on the need to outsource the activities of Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to facilitate early completion of the project.