NCC moves to curb cyber threats in telecoms operations

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NCC

Worried about the rising trend of cyberattacks, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has commenced the process of establishing a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team (CSIRT).

The initiative, which was exclusively designed for the telecommunications sector, would facilitate intervention, swift identification of threats/vulnerabilities and sharing of valuable information and resources to assist in fortifying the resilience of the National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who made the disclosure at the 2019 English West and Central Africa Instructor Conference, which held in Lagos, said the initiative was specifically designed to protect the telecoms sector from cyberattacks that could rubbish the tremendous achievements recorded by the sector since its commercial launch in 2001.

Danbatta who was represented by the Principal Manager, New Media and Security at NCC, Aminu Abdullah, said: “In conformity with the National Cyber Security Strategy, the Commission has commenced the process of establishing a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team (CSIRT) exclusively for the telecommunications sector.”

According to him, the Sectorial CSIRT would 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 ICT Infrastructure,” the EVC said.

According to NCC’s industry statistics, the number of internet users is about 119.5 subscribers as at April 2019.

“Despite the slow start, internet use is growing exponentially in Nigeria, and a huge amount of data is being used in a number of fields such as banking, medicine, communications, government, education,” among others, and it also poses unprecedented threats for user’s security and privacy, Danbatta said.

The Acting Administrator, Digital Bridge Institute, Mrs. Viola Askia, described the growth of cyber threats as alarming and attributed it to the adoption of new technologies by different companies.

“As more and more organisations adopt new ICT technologies in their operations and processes, cybercrimes or cyber-attacks have become the greatest threat to every business.

“Hundreds of attacks hit computer systems everywhere around the world. It is estimated that 54 per cent of companies in the world over experience at least one cyber-attack every year. Sixty per cent of businesses and organisations suffer from cyber-attack every year in the form of malware, phishing, ransomware, crypto jacking among others.

“92.4 per cent of these are delivered via email. Although most of these attacks are not covered by the media, they all lead to losses of millions of naira in various organisations, Askia said.

She, however, expressed optimism that the communique from the conference would proffer a lasting solution to the problem of cyberattacks in the country.

The Digital Bridge Institute was established by the Nigerian Communications Commission for the purpose of ICT capacity building across all economic sectors in Nigeria.

Pursuant to the mandate, the institute had in the past decades and half, championed functional and innovative ICT education covering cyber security and other emerging technologies.

The General Manager, Cisco Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Oloruntimehin, said Cisco was working toward graduating a million Cisco Academy students by 2025, while assuring Nigerians that at least 105 beneficiaries of the up-scaling will be Nigerians.

 

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