Nigeria’s dream of becoming one of the world’s first 20 economies by 2020 may be doomed if cyber security was not put in place to contain increasing cyber crimes in the country.It was learnt that the Nigerian space has not only become more porous, but the country also loses 0.08 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or N127 billion yearly to cybercrimes.
Experts who gathered at a Breakfast Forum on Cyber Security in Nigeria, organised by the United States (U.S.) Commercial Service and McAfee Incorporated, stated this yesterday in Lagos.They argued that year 2016 took cyber attacks to an unprecedented level, as there were reports alleging that it was used to influence and sway votes during elections, adding: “In Nigeria, several organisations suffered cyber attacks, some had to pay ransom for their data to be released.”
Speaking on Cyber Crime Nigeria, President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Destiny Amana, noted that in 2016 there was increase in the number of sophisticated phishing attacks, which occurred in most financial institutions and utility companies.
Amana revealed that Ransomware would continue to evolve, saying this could be viewed as cyber-kidnapping“In this case, data is kidnapped and a ransom is expected to be paid for the affected data to be made available.”He said there should be concerted efforts by government, its agencies, security operatives and the citizens to check the growing influence of cyber crime, especially as the country hopes to become a leading economy by 2020 through its Vision 2020 Project.
On the peculiarities of Nigeria, Amana noted that with the recession in 2016 came several schemes, including cyber ponzi, which promised unbelievable financial returns on investments. He stressed that these schemes generate returns for older investors by acquiring new investors or from re-investors.
Territory Account Manager, sub-Saharan Africa, McAfee, Will O’Shea, said cyber crime was real and targets everybody.Citing a Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) report, which hinted that Nigeria ranked third in the global Internet crime behind the United Kingdom (UK), United State of America (USA), O’Shea stressed the need to move against the menace before it consumes the economy.
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