The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE has announced that the agency is working tirelessly to secure Nigeria cyber space to promote digital economy.
Abdullahi disclosed that growth and potentials of digital economy depends on the trust in the internet and cyber space.
The DG made this disclosure in Abuja while delivering his opening remarks at the Information Assurance Workshop, a two day event put together by the Agency, in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (OSGF).
Ably represented by the Director, Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions, Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi, stated that the boom in digital economy is delicately balanced with equivalent threat that could bring organisations and nations to their knees with colossal damage arising from financial and reputational losses to cybercriminals, hence government and industries need to enhance their cyber security in the wake of these evolving threats to online activities.
He said the increasing use of digital technologies is continually exposing sensitive information and critical systems to risks and threats in cyberspace.
In combating the problem, he said the agency is implementing new regulations, inspecting and examining regulated entities, providing support to its constituents and collaborating with relevant stakeholders and sensitising citizens.
“Cybercriminals not only try to gain control of infrastructure, they also try to steal personal information, official data and mislead citizens with fake news”, Abdullahi noted.
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While acknowledging that the digital economy is estimated at 22.5 percent of the world’s economy and yet has not been fully exploited, the NITDA boss maintained that digital investments have a growth multiplier effect in the national Gross Domestic Product, (GDP).
“The Nigerian digital economy is known to account for up to 13.8 percent of the nation’s GDP, it is therefore obvious that the digital economy is a platform to increase the growth of the national economy”, he said.
According to Abdullahi, the workshop is planned to bring together efforts of all government organisations to combat one of the growing threats to economies, personal and national security globally. He therefore advised government and industries that migrate online should find effective ways of reaching out to citizens and find efficient ways of carrying out their businesses.
NITDA DG advised Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to comply with the circular issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on the implementation of one of the regulations by MDAs.
This is the National Information Systems and Network Security Standards, which he said are to ensure the security of data and technology systems in line with global best practices, and also to ensure a thriving digital economy where all stakeholders would have confidence and trust.
Also, the Head of CyberSecurity Unit at NITDA, Wariowei Dimie, stressed that the heads of public institutions will be educated on the need to keep the confidentiality and integrity of all public information whenever and whoever that intends to have access to it.
‘‘We discovered that in public service the world over, cybercriminals are working very hard to steal information because there is value attached to data. Because the value of data is so important, we are putting up this workshop to make sure that whatever data generated and made available in public service is kept safe from hackers,” he said.
He said preparations are in top gear for monitoring and evaluations.