Nigeria is increasingly becoming connected as more people adopt smartphones and computers, in addition to getting online. Although the history of Internet usage in the country if fairly young compared to Western Industrialized countries, the level of cybercrime activity is a concern. This is because most people getting online are not aware of the dangers that lurk in not taking security measures with their smartphones and computers.
Microsoft Nigeria has partnered with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) among other cyber security stakeholders to organize Nigeria’s first National Cybersecurity Capacity Building Workshop.
The theme of the workshop is ‘Balancing Cybersecurity Risks, Innovation, and National Security.’ Records show that in the period between 2000 and 2013, there were over N159 billion lost through Internet scams and identity theft. About 2,175 websites reported having been defaced within the same period.
Cybersecurity stakeholders are of the view that the workshop could not have come at a better time. Arguing more needs to be done to educate the general public and create awareness of the dangers that comes with smartphones, laptops, and Internet usage. The law enforcement agencies and ICT regulatory agencies in Nigeria also need to establish an intervention mechanism and see to it that cyber criminals are punished.
In attendance at the two-day workshop was the National Security Adviser, Major Babagana Monguno, who was represented by Isaac Idu the Director of Internal Security in the office Barrister. Isaac said that as much as the cyberspace is bringing useful possibilities like e-commerce, transforming the economy, increasing employment opportunities and improving the citizens’ welfare.
There is a real cause for concern as criminals are also gaining access to more sophisticated ways to steal from and harass the general public. Internet users must take preventive measures to secure their private information stored on their devices. Isaac further said the Federal Government has taken urgent steps to put in place measures to address the emerging cybercrime activities.