Cybersecurity, Tool For Digital Economy, Transformation – Abdullahi

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The Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, speaking during the Cyber risk and cybersecurity webinar.

The director-general of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, has said cybersecurity is very essential for digital economy and digital transformation within the government.

He made this assertion at a webinar with the theme ‘Cyber risk and cybersecurity’ to commemorate NITDA at 20 organised by Digital Jewel for cloud governance and security, cybersecurity trends, threats and failsafe measures.

He said the Federal Government had put in place policies that would curb the menace of cyber attacks through Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention, etc) Act 2015, National Security Agency (NSA)’s Computer Emergency Response Team, NITDA’s Computer Emergency Response Team (MDAs), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Computer Emergency Response Team (Financial), Nigerian Communications Commission Computer Emergency Response Team (Telecommunication), Defense Space Administration (Navy, Army and Air Force).

Abdullahi stressed that NITDA’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERRT) had been playing a critical role towards curbing the menace of cyberattacks through prompt awareness, cybersecurity tips, monitoring intrusion, leveraging trusted resources, and implementing a response plan for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

“Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and requires the attention of a broad range of stakeholders. It requires an effective public and private partnership that incorporates businesses and institutions of all sizes along with national, state, local, tribal and territorial agencies to produce successful outcomes in identifying and addressing threats, vulnerabilities and overall risk in cyberspace.

“NITDA Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan 2021-2024 is anchored on seven strategic pillars; Developmental regulations which focuses on indices needed to move Nigeria on the eGovernment index. Some of these regulations are regulatory instruments, guidelines and frameworks that prepare Nigeria for this journey,” he said.

Another pillar, according to Abdullahi, is digital literacy which focuses on capacity building of eGovernment services, pointing out the need to build people’s capacity on proficient use of digital services.

He added that digital transformation is another pillar which uses digital technology for operational excellence in governance and to enhance transformational delivery of traditional government services.

“Digital innovation and entrepreneurship and promotion of indigenous contents are strategic pillars which basically involve the maximum empowerment and use of local innovations to come up with indigenous made solutions for the nation,” he said.

Another pillar, emerging technologies, he said, encourages citizenry to develop and adopt strategies for emerging technologies, stressing that some of the emerging technologies are foundational techs that cut across so many industries like the block chain, artificial intelligence and robotics.

Earlier in her remarks, the managing director of Digital Jewels, Ms Adedoyin Odunfa, applauded NITDA for the various initiatives put in place towards the growth and development of Information Technology across the country, which is changing the way things are done.

She said the top 2021 cybersecurity threat prediction began from the rise of ransomware which every employee susceptible to a ransomware attack should be aware of regardless of role and remote workforce exploitation. For an employee working from home, the temptation, according to her, for hackers to target remote vulnerabilities will rise, and ineffective cyber hygiene which weekly scan should be done to ensure nothing is left exposed on the computer.

In his presentation, the assistant director cybersecurity department, Mr Yahuza Ahmed, pointed out that ransomware attack was on the increase and affecting the operations of internet activities around the world.

He cited KIA Motors attack as an example that occurred some months back by Ransomware activities which affected the operations of the company.

“Critical Infrastructure attacks, the dark side hacker group behind the colonial pipeline Ransomware attack which has led to low supply of petroleum premium Motor Spirit (PMS), affecting the activities of the country due to the attack,” he added.

He urged government organizations that provide services like National Identity Management Commission, Galaxy Backbone etc, to check delivery channels, online presence, mobile presence, Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to improve services that are being rendered to the general public.

Oluchi Okorafor
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