NCC to set up Cyber Security Incident Response Team

Na'ankwat Dariem, Abuja


In continuous effort to check the menace of cybercrime activities especially in the telecommunication sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has said that it is putting measures in place to set up a crime check security apparatus, ‘Cyber Security Incident Response Team’ (CSIRT), to protect telecom subscribers from internet fraud to salvage the Telecom economy.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Uma Professor Umar who stated in Abuja, at the 88th edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament, TCP, Danbatta, said that this became Paramount as a result of the increasing threat posed by cyber crime in the country.

Danbatta decried the high rate of spamming, Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card frauds, credit card frauds, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) frauds, phishing, identity theft, unauthorised access, distribution of obscene and indecent contents, cyber bullying, among several other forms of sophisticated cyber-criminal activities being perpetrated within the cyberspace.

The forum which brings together various stakeholders such as regulatory agencies of government, telecoms service providers, telecoms consumers and their advocacy groups as well as professionals from all walks of life for a robust dialogue on salient issues affecting the telecommunication industry, had the EVCs appraisal of the theme, “Challenges of Cybercrime: The Role of the Telecoms Service Providers”, stressing that it is apt and a contemporary issue faced by telecoms service users.

Danbatta noted that cyberspace has become a blossoming haven for cybercriminals to perpetrate their insidious acts which have continued to cost unsuspecting Internet users and many organisations billions of naira in lost money and revenue, thus the need to make the cyber space safe for all.

“We have the Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team, that is domicile in the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, put in place in order to secure the Nigeria’s Cyber Space, by keeping cyber attacks at bay, preventing them from getting into the national  networks, whether they are  telecommunications, broadcast and other networks”.

This was deliberately put in place in order to ensure the wellbeing of the citizens.

The same Act, establishing Cybercrime Act, has directed that all sectors of the economy should be protected. So, every sector supposed to have a sectoral protection against cyber attack.

“That is why the NCC is in the process of putting in place a Cyber Security Incident Response Team, CSIRT, which is  a version of the national SIRT. We have taken other  measures  to ensure adequate protections on the network, including sensitization  of Nigerians through this kind of event we are having today, on measures they can take to protect access to  their privacy, access to classified information relating to where they deposit their money, their hard earned means of livelihood”, he said.

The EVC said also that there is the need to continuously change the username as well as put in place some authentication measures that will ensure security of the data, adding that it is wrong for telecommunication operators to disclose the data of subscribers on their networks without adequate permission except through lawful interception where such data can be acquired in the interest of the security of the nation.

“If such instance takes place; because it is illegal the subscriber in question can escalate this matter through the NCC  and  in fact the NCC will investigate, and establish whether that is the case and take necessary  regulatory measure,” Prof Danbatta.

Danbatta therefore urged the telecoms service providers to get acquitted with their subscribers.

“It is very important to put in place a programme to know your customer, this is very important and we have encouraged the telecommunication operators to embark on programmes that will sensitize their customers and what they can do when they have challenges related to services these operators are providing,” he added.