By Etuka Sunday
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami yesterday said that cybersecurity remains top priority of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Pantami said, the core focus of the present administration was on security, economic development and to fight corruption, adding that Cyber crime was growing with the speed of light therefore, cyber security should be given the top priority it deserves.
The Minister stated this at the annual Cyber Security Conference organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), tagged: “Strengthening the Security and Resilience of the Nation’s Communications Infrastructure’’, in Abuja.
Pantami noted that cybercrime travels at the speed of light while cyber security travels at the speed of law.
He explained that the bill was not something that can be enacted within a day or two, adding that cybercrime does not respect the law.
“As they said, cybercrime is at the speed of light while cyber security is at the speed of law. You know the speed of law from proposing a bill, going through first reading, second reading and sometimes a bill can spend ten years without being read.
“Literally it is not something that can be enacted within a day or two but cybercrimes do not respect any law. Whenever they get any opportunity, they exploit it. So that is why the speed of cybercrime is the speed of light,” he said.
The Minister adviced that the best way to secure the cyberspace was through awareness and it was key for the people to understand and get exposed when online.
“We should ensure that we secure our cyberspace through creating awareness; awareness is key, let people understand that when you go online you are exposed.
“You need to take some precautions to ensure that you minimise the risk of exposing yourself to it. If we create that awareness, it will go a long way in reducing the cybercrime we have in Nigeria.
“Many people do not know the implication of receiving emails without knowing the source just to go and open the attachment, this is one of the ways that our systems are being compromised and secondly through using pirated supplier.
“We usually look at the cheapest one. If we go for the cheaper one, the probability of compromising our system is high; we need to be updating our applications wether on our smartphones or anywhere.” Pantami said.
Earlier, the Executive Chairman (EVC) NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that the internet provides a vast array of prospects to individuals irrespective of their status.
Danbatta said that with the growing volume of adoption of these technologies and distributed nature of the internet, comes the sophistication of cyber-attacks, allowing cyber criminals to attack people outside their geographical location.
“From social networking to businesses, to research & development, and so much more, and at the same time can be exploited by cyber criminals to carryout crimes over the medium.
He said that both technical measures and appropriate legal instruments must be put in place to enhance the resilience and integrity of ICT infrastructure and also to safeguard cyberspace users.
The EVC informed that an e-fraud desk would be created to serve as a platform for reporting cases of e-fraud to the security agencies for further investigations and prosecutions.
According to Danbatta, the NCC is committed to making sure that the Internet has less cyber criminals, through educating members of the public on the negative impacts of cybercrime, and the need to limit these impacts by putting in place the following initiatives, amongst others.
“To collaborate with relevant stakeholders to embark on a nationwide Cyber security awareness campaign starting with the FCT and later extending to all thirty six (36) states of the federation, targeting at young school children.
“To enlightening them on Internet etiquettes, Cybercrime and its Penalties in line with the Nigerian Cybercrime Act 2015, and protection against Cybercriminals.
“Establishmet of a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team (CSIRT) Centre to help serve as the single national point of contact for international coordination of Cyber security incidents in Nigeria.
“Technical Framework for the Use of Social Media Network in Nigeria. The objective is to provide the baseline for Social Media governance, policy, and procedures to guide individuals, businesses or the government on the use of social media.”