The Federal Government has said the country loses over N127 billion annually to cyber-crimes across the country.
Minister of Communications, Bar. Adebayo Shittu, disclosed this yesterday during Cyber Secure Conference organised by the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) in Abuja.
The Minister acknowledged increasing threats in the nation’s cyberspace stressing that the trend was becoming more sophisticated and frequent.
He said it was thus important to intensify efforts to secure the country’s cyber space against imminent threats, as the federal government already inaugurated an advisory council on cyber security.
His words: “Indeed, Nigeria loses over N127 billion annually, which translates to about 0.08 of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The financial implication could be much more, but a larger number of incidents remain undetected or unreported. These grim figures go on to emphasise the fact that cyber criminals never sleep.
Building a resilient cyber defence is a priority as available statistics puts the cost of cyber-crime globally at $700 billion per year, and it is projected to rise to about $2 trillion by 2019, due to the rapid digitisation of consumer lives and company records. Breaches like these have steadily been on the rise as according to reports, the number of incidents in 2016 grew by 38 per cent as against the number reported in 2015.
According to him, the country is in dire need of cyber experts that could help secure the cyberspace.
Earlier, CSEAN President, Remi Afon identified the need for the country to implement the National Cyber Security Strategy and Policy designed by the federal government to secure the country.
He cited the recent global cyber-attack named as ‘wannacry ransomware’ which had wreaked havoc in 104 countries and shut down over 200, 000 computers.
However, he said the government should make it a mandate in partnership with other stakeholders in the sector to create cybersecurity awareness across the country.
Aside, Afon urged the federal government to allocate budget to build cyber defence system and increase capacities among private and public establishments in order to jointly build a resilient cyber security ecosystem.
“We don’t need to be reminded of the growing sophistication and pervasiveness of cyber-attacks, whether it was a billion compromised Yahoo accounts or state-sponsored hackers muscling on national elections.
“Just last week, the world was hit with ‘WannaCry ransomware’ attack one of the largest ever cyber-attacks in recent years… This attack reinforces how dependent we have become on our data-driven networks and serves as a wake-up call for government, businesses and organisations to make cyber security top priority,” he added.
Presents at the conference were representative of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), KPMG Nigeria, Microsoft, Panda among others.