The Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, has lamented the spate of cybercrimes rocking nations, saying the menace cannot be allowed to thrive in Nigeria.
“The growing broadband penetration in the nation has brought about an even greater participation by citizens, businesses, and governments in cyber activities such as e-Commerce, Social media and connectivity on most of our daily things.
“As we increasingly depend on technology and the cyberspace for our daily businesses, it gets more and more insecure.
“It goes without saying that cybersecurity has become a top national concern for most governments around the world.
“This has been due to the unprecedented rise in the number of cyber attacks and campaigns recorded globally with North Korea being one of the topmost instigators of the cyber war fare.
“Cybersecurity is more than a challenge for government as it poses a huge obstacle to our digital transformation and digital Nigeria agenda in social and economy desired for the country.
“The Federal Government has estimated an annual loss of over N 127 billion to cybercrime activities in the Nation.
“Nigeria has had its fair share of cybercrimes between 2016 and 2017 alone. The recession in 2016 brought about numerous attacks targeted at organizations and individuals.
“The most recent targets where on unsuspecting patronizers of ponzi schemes. In the wave of austerity many people lost money to the said schemes and others fell victims to malicious and compromising websites, this cannot continue,” Shittu said.
Shittu made this comment at the Nigeria ICT Impact CEO Forum 2017 organized by ICT Watch Network, saying the theme “Broadband Access: The Challenges of Cybersecurity Threat and Effect of Social Media Era” is not only germane but comes at a time when there is a global concern about security of technology and cyber infrastructure.
He said government will continue to provide appropriate law enforcement response, as well as information and education to the population regarding the threats on the internet.
“However, at the same time, we also expect providers of services to play their part by providing those who feel threatened with support and information and with links to law enforcement bodies.
“We can achieve more when all of us, including the industry and the academia, demonstrate the responsibility to work together to address the problem,” he further stated.
TheNewsGuru recalls in 2013, the Ministry set a National Broadband Plan target of reaching a fivefold increase in broadband penetration by the end of 2019 which Shittu said by all indication would be met and surpassed given the enthusiasm of the present administration.
In 2015, the federal government passed the national cybersecurity act into law which provides directives to guide regulate and protect the use and deployment of critical information infrastructure in the Nation.
The bill describes classes of cybercrime and also includes robust clauses for criminal prosecution following cybersecurity crimes.
“Each year we see more services migrating to the cyber world within government and private industry, whilst this means better and more convenient services and a boost in the economy, it also creates a viable avenue for cyber attacks and criminal activities which could cripple or destabilize the National system,” Shittu said.
He stated that the ministry of communications will continue to collaborate with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to strategizing ways to prepare for and fight cyber attacks.