Agency calls for secured cyberspace as key to digital economic growth

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By Na’ankwat Dariem

Security, privacy and trust are critical issues for a thriving digital economy.

This was the take at the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA at a two day Information Assurance Workshop in Abuja, Nigeria ,co-hosted with the Office of the
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

The Director General, NITDA Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, noted that the growth and potential of the digital economy depends on the trust on the Internet and in cyberspace.

The Director of Information Technology Infrastructure  Solutions, NITDA Dr. Usman Abdullahi, said that “The digital economy leverages on cyberspace, characterized with evolving cyber threats.Cyber security is key to enable the growth and progress of the digital economy .Security privacy and trust are critical issues for a thriving digital economy. Government and industries need to employ measures enlist the trust and confidence or all stakeholders: the government, private sector and Individuals. “

While emphasising on the importance of Data as a critical asset to the digital economy, he also said it was a critical target for cyber criminals.

He also urged government agencies and industries  to employ measures to enlist the trust and confidence of all stakeholders especially the citizens saying that the workshop is “is one of those platforms for ensuring that everybody puts in the required amount of effort and commitment to ensuring trust building and dissuading the negatives of the criminals in a digital economy.”

Government and industries need to employ measures so as to enlist the trust and confidence or all stakeholders: the government, private sector and Individuals.

The DG also  explained that “as a result of the  boom in digital economy  delicately balanced with equivalent threats that could bring organisations and nations to their knees with colossal damage arising from financial and reputational losses to cybercriminals; hence government and industries need to enhance their cybersecurity in the wake of these evolving threats to online activities.”

Noting that in addressing the growing cyber security threat, the Agency has come with strategic approach to curb the menace by implementing new regulations, engaging the Media, collaboration with relevant stakeholders, security agencies, sensitizing and educating both the industry and the public

He said the agency has also established “a multi-stakeholder platform (NigeriaCyber security Alliance )for coordinating cyber security activities for the private and public sector activities in Nigeria. But to ensure that the regulatory framework Keeps pace with the rapidly evolving technological trends, the Agency has introduced new regulations the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation and the National Information systems and  Network Security Standards  currently being reviewed, in line with the Agency’s Rulemaking Process.”

A Cybercrime expert, Dr. Kenneth Okoroafor at the event emphasised the need for continuous awareness on security, explaining that all government ICT systems should be harmonised to secure Nigeria’s cyberspace.

The workshop aimed at bringing stakeholders to combat the growing threats to the economy, personal and national security in the country.

Lateefah Ibrahim