NCC advocates public-private partnership to protect communication infrastructure


The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says there is need for public-private partnership to protect communication infrastructure in the country.

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta stated this in Lagos on Tuesday during the 20l9 Cisco African Academy Cyber Security Conference for English West and Central Africa.

Represented by Aminu Abdullahi, the Principal Manager, New Media and Security Services, NCC, Danbatta said that in Nigeria, majority of the communication infrastructure resided in private hands.

He said the risks to national and economic security associated with the compromise or failure of these assets meant that their protection required concerted public-private partnership efforts.

According to him, NCC and key industry stakeholders have been working to foster and implement a robust cybersecurity environment for effective lnformation and Communications Technology infrastructure security management, as well as data protection and privacy.

“The internet has become an essential part of our daily activities. Statistical indicators show that more than half of the world’s population uses the internet, thereby generating about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data on daily basis.

“The NCC’s industry statistics show that the number of internet users is about 119.5 million subscribers as at April, 2019.

“Despite the slow start, internet use is growing exponentially in Nigeria.

“While a huge amount of data is useful in a number of fields such as banking. medicine, communications, government, education, among others, it also poses unprecedented threats for users’ security and privacy,’’ Danbatta said.

He said that though NCC was not a security agency, it ensured its support for the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in investigating telecommunications -related security incidents, as required by law.

He said that the Commission was actively involved in all the collaborative processes that culminated in adapting the ‘National Cyber Security Policy’ by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Danbatta said that the regulatory body was involved in processes and adaptation of the National Cyber Security Strategy and the Cybercrimes Act, 2015.

He said that the Commission also played a key role in its collaboration with the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) toward the establishment of the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT) Coordination Centre.

According to him, the centre provides support to the coordination of cybersecurity incidents in Nigeria.

“The Commission also supports initiative of all sectorial Computer Security Incidence Response Teams (CSlRTs), which will collaborate and work with the ngCERT in tackling cyber threats and vulnerabilities; thereby forming an effective and well-coordinated national CERT ecosystem.

“Hence, in conformance with the National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS), the Commission has commenced the process of establishing a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team (CSlRT) exclusively for the telecommunications sector.

“The sectorial CSIRT will complement the ngCERT by handling and containing Cybersecurity incidents in the telecommunications sector.

“The NCC-CSIRT, when established, will facilitate intervention, swift identification of threats/vulnerabilities and sharing of valuable information and resources to assist in fortifying the resilience of the national lCT infrastructure,’’ Danbatta said.

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