Cyber crime travels at the speed of light – Minister 

By Na'ankwat Dariem

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The Nigerian Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami  on Thursday emphasised on the need for more awareness on cyber security and its impact on the Nigerian community.

Speaking at the maiden Annual Cyber Security Conference held in Abuja and organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) with the theme “Strengthening the Security and Resilience of the Nation’s Communications Infrastructure’’ Pantami said that the best way to secure cyberspace is through awareness creation.

“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 cyber crime we have in Nigeria”.

Pantami explained that ensuring cyber security is a process that requires time.   According to him, this will entail proposing a legal bill that goes through first reading, second reading and sometimes could take up to ten years without being heard at the National assembly.

“Literally it is not something that can be enacted within a day or two but cyber criminals do not respect any law. Whenever they get any opportunity, they exploit it. So that is why the speed of cyber crime is the speed of light.”

The minister emphasised  on the need  for continuous sensitisation stating:

 “Many people do not know the implications of receiving emails without knowing the source before opening the attachment. This is one of the ways that our systems are being compromised and secondly through using pirated suppliers. 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 whether on our smartphones or anywhere.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta in his welcome address emphasised the importance of the conference.

 “The Internet, as we all know, provides a vast array of prospects to individuals irrespective of age group, 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.

Danbatta said with the growing volume of adoption of technologies and distributive nature of the internet, comes the corresponding sophistication of cyber-attacks, allowing cyber criminals to attack people outside their geographical location; making policing the Internet difficult.

The NCC chief reiterated his Commission’s commitment to ensure that the Internet has less cyber criminals, through educating members of the public on the negative impacts of cyber-crimes, and the need to limit these impacts by putting in place initiatives that will stem the tide.

Some of the initiatives include the establishment 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 and the creation of an e-fraud desk as a platform for reporting cases of e-fraud to security agencies investigation and prosecution.

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