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Curbing N127bn Cybersecurity Annual Losses via Tardigrade’s ERA Roadmap

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With cyber attacks on the rise, organisations across the globe are contending with loss of reputation, loss of customers, potential financial liabilities, regulatory notification requirements and sometimes, litigation. To address this menace, however, Tardigrade, a Nollysoft’s Enterprise Risk Assessment (ERA) solution, has been identified by experts as a veritable roadmap that would provide the better understanding of the cybersecurity space and a good grasp of the internal control mechanisms to organisations towards cyber threats.

The greatest war that countries in the 21st Century currently face and which they must prepare to win headlong to actively participate in the global economy largely driven by the Internet is cyber warfare.

As such, the need for organisations to deploy a security solution that helps to identify factors contributing to and determining the organisation’s overall cyber risk; assess the organisation’s cybersecurity preparedness; evaluate whether the organisation’s cybersecurity preparedness is aligned with its risks; determine risk management practices and controls that are needed or need enhancement and actions to be taken to achieve the desired state and offers informed risk management strategies to organisations cannot be under-estimated.

Indeed, local and regional authorities, professional IT associations and various reports home and abroad have raised the sentiments around the danger posed by cyber threats and the need for each organisation to get its IT infrastructure weaponised through effective internal controls and security solutions.

Rising wave of concerns

For instance, the telecoms industry regulator in Nigeria, the Nigerian Communications Commission, has noted that cybersecurity has become an essential component of the human activity. This was the position of the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, at a cybersecurity forum in Lagos,where he noted that cyber attacks’ high level of complexity requires action at different levels (both virtual and physical) and by different actors, including governments, private sector, civil society, intergovernmental organisations, among others.

According to him, the current scale and growth of ICT applications transcend all spheres of social and economic boundaries worldwide. “Whether it is broadcasting (digital TV) or social networking, e-Commerce (mobile banking and financial services), e-Governance (government services management, e-education, e-health, e-taxation, e-commerce), governments, institutions and the society, in general, are increasingly embracing these technologies and at the same time becoming exposed to vulnerabilities of cyber-attacks,” he said.

He, therefore, strongly advocated that technical measures such as theNollysoft’s Enterprise Risk Assessment (ERA) solution and appropriate legal instruments must be put in place to enhance the resilience of cybersecurity infrastructure and safeguard cyber technologies users.

In the same vein, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Mr. Shola Taylor, has also raised serious concerns about the dangers of cyber attacks and the need for a synergy by stakeholders to mitigate and, if possible, prevent their potential risks on organisations IT infrastructure.

According to Taylor, “Cyberspace contributes significantly to achieving countries’ national development goals, and so international organisations, national security services, operators, intelligence and data protection agencies, as well as citizens all, have a role to play in making cyberspace safer and more resilient,” he said, while sharing the CTO’s experience in developing national cybersecurity strategies for Commonwealth member countries as well as other countries, including Senegal last year.

Potential risks, exposures and losses

In Nigeria, over N127 billion is lost annually by mostly business organisations and ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government, translating to 0.08 percent loss in the `country’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the country’s Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu.

Also,62 percent of firms are being attacked weekly, according to a 2017International Data Corporation (IDC) InfoBriefsponsored by Splunk. In the report, it was noted that with malware becoming more advanced with encrypted ransomware, the security breach impacts on organisations may include loss of reputation, loss of customers, potential financial liabilities, regulatory notification requirements and sometimes litigation instigated by victim customers.

President, Cyber Secure Conference organised by the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), Mr. RemiAfon quoted another statistics, which puts the cost of cyber-crime globally at $700 billion per year.He said the loss is projected to rise to about $2 trillion by 2019, due to the rapid digitisation of consumer lives and company records. Breaches like these have steadily been on the rise as according to reports, the number of incidents has increased by more 38 percent annually since 2015.

According to U.S. State of Cybercrime survey, Ponemon Institute, and Juniper research, cybersecurity events and costs are increasing, data breaches are expected to reach $2.1 trillion globally by 2019.

Thus, Afon argues that there is a need for Nigeria to implement the National Cyber Security Strategy and Policy and ensure effective implementation of the Cybercrime Act 2015 as well making organisations embrace newest solution. One of such security solutions ready to tackle cyber attacks on organisations in the country is Tardigrade, a Nollysoft’s Enterprise Risk Assessment (ERA) solution.

This is instructive as industry experts have said organisations in Nigeria are in dire need of cyber experts that could help secure the cyberspace and one of the ways to boost protection is to embrace and deploy innovative solutions offered by security company/experts.

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Kaspersky Lab Debuts Advanced Cyber security Platform

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Security giant Kaspersky Lab has introduced Kaspersky Threat Management and Defense, a solution aimed at bringing visibility back to enterprise networks and reducing incident response times.

According to the company, digital transformation is blurring protection perimeters and alerting businesses to complex threats already within their networks.

A recent study called ‘IT Security Risks survey 2017’ conducted by B2B International in conjunction with Kaspersky Lab, revealed that 48% of enterprises believe their organisation may already have been hacked.

“Targeted attacks can penetrate an organisation’s critical systems and stay unnoticed for years, causing irreparable damage in the process. Separate symptoms can be misleading and only an all-around examination provides an accurate diagnosis,” the company says.

Alessio Aceti, head of the Enterprise Business division at Kaspersky Lab, says as the war against sophisticated and well-funded hackers and cyber criminals rages on, enterprises need an integrated approach to complex threat detection and response.

The new solution employs a set of technologies for the detection of previously unknown threats and targeted attacks, correlating different indicators of compromise in the network that are likely connected to a single operation, to help businesses discover even the most complex attacks, Kaspersky adds.

The product also makes use of machine learning threat analysis and correlation algorithms, advanced sandbox technology and network traffic analysis, aimed at improving accuracy of detection.

The slower a business responds to an attack, the more devastating the consequences, and the more expensive it is for the organisation to recover.

“Enterprises have to change how they react. Kaspersky EDR, a feature of the new platform, allows companies to speed up their incident response process and improve the quality of cyber security incident investigation.”

Moreover, Kaspersky EDR brings increased visibility through the aggregation and visualisation of key digital forensics data collected from endpoints – which will be available irrespective of the techniques attackers use to try and obfuscate their tracks.

“Full visibility and accurate detection are only two parts of the battle. The nature of targeted attacks means attackers will come back with new tools and techniques. If an emergency occurs, the cyber security team might need a trusted partner with the relevant skills and experience,” says Kaspersky.

For this reason, the company has also included several rapid incident recovery tools into its platform, that handle the proactive assessment and rectifying of damage, as well as a full, outsourced threat hunting service.

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Early Detection, Rapid Response Critical for Targeted Attack Remediation

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Anton Jacobsz, managing director at Networks Unlimited

In combatting a targeted attack on your network, early detection and rapid response are both critical.

 

Cyber security experts accept the strong possibility that criminals will be able to enter their network at some or other point, and in this context, the issue becomes less about being able to keep them out, and more about detecting them and taking remedial action as soon as their presence is discovered.

 

This is according to a recent report from global cybersecurity company RSA.

 

Anton Jacobsz, managing director at value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited, which distributes RSA products and solutions in Africa, commented, “The report from RSA Incident Response Services notes that, once detected, rapid response is needed to mitigate the potential damage and prevent them from achieving their objectives. RSA’s Advanced Cyber Defense (ACD) services for Incident Response enable organisations to prepare for security incidents without having to accept the inevitability of loss.”

 

The report outlines the comprehensive forensic analysis framework in the RSA approach to threat response and mitigation, noting that the response process ‘…takes into consideration data from multiple sources including in-house systems, open source research, “RSA Live” threat intelligence and the customer’s threat intelligence sources.’

 

The approach taken includes network analysis, using host forensics, harvesting threat intelligence and malware analysis, as follows:

  • Network analysis: Data from packets and logs collected by RSA NetWitness is used to identify suspicious or risky communications.
  • Host forensics: Executables, files and libraries are used to identify unauthorised services and processes deployed by the attacker and running on end points.
  • Threat intelligence: Research is conducted to gain insights about the attack infrastructure, tools and techniques, which is particularly helpful in gaining insight about threat actors that are persistently targeting the  organisation.
  • Malware analysis: Malware tends to be relatively small in terms of file size, which helps the attackers to avoid detection. Malware analysis allows an incident response team to develop blocking techniques and make the organisation more resilient.

 

Jacobsz concludes, “Attackers do leave clues to their presence and analytic intelligence, as offered by RSA, is key in being able to offer early detection and rapid response. Ongoing analysis and threat intelligence further allows an organisation to bolster its defences into the future.”

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MDXi’s Investment to Hit N12.2Bn

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Gbenga Adegbiji, General Manager, MDXi

MDXi has announced plans to inject fresh N2.5 billion investments to strengthen its operations in Nigeria, raising its investment stake from N10.7 billion in phase one to N12.2 billion in the current phase two. This fresh investment will enhance and raise its capacity in local data hosting from 300 to 600 racks.

Gbenga Adegbiji, General Manager, MDXi, made the disclosure during a media tour of the MDXi Data Centre facilities in Lagos recently, said the need for expansion was based on customer’s demand, having occupied almost all the available space left in the existing 300 rack space that was built in 2015, during the first phase construction of its data centre located in Lekki axis of Lagos

Adegbiji added that since 2015 when MDXi data centre was launched, the management had spent a total of $35 million, estimated at N10.7 billion in current naira valuation, the company has sunk into building capacity in the last five years to create a world-class data service centre.

In a passionate message to the Federal Government, the GM said the time has come for the government to make stronger policies to ensure that private sector and organs of state host very important critical national data for security and economic reasons.

“Government must know the importance of data domestication in Nigeria. When data is hosted abroad the outside world gets our data before us because they have access to it,” he said, adding that Nigerian Banks now know the value of local data hosting.

“Over 70% of Nigerian Banks host data at MDXi and out of the 22 banks in Nigeria, 21 among them have something to do with MDXi data centre. MDXi expansion from 300 racks to 600 racks is as a result of increasing customer needs”, he stated.

Adegbiji said, more than 70 percent of the current capacity of 300 racks is already occupied and the rest are already paid for. “By March this years, our current capacity will be exhausted. That is why we have embarked on expansion for another 300 racks. In fact, some companies are already booking for space in the new space.

He admitted that data centre business is capital intensive, therefore called on federal government to support data centre operations in Nigeria.

He said, there was the need for proper regulation of data centre in the country and called on the government to declare data centre operation as critical national infrastructure that needs government attention because of the critical role it plays in the economy of any country.

Giving details of MDXi operations in Nigeria, Adegbiji said, “MDXi is West Africa’s largest full-scale data centre provider offering colocation, wholesale deployments, interconnection and cloud services.

MDXi is the gold standard for data centre real estate in the region as it develops a data centre eco-system spanning facilities in Lagos, Sagamu, Accra, and Code D’Ivoire and Senegal.”

According to Adegbiji, MDXi is best in class infrastructure, built to TIA 942 and Uptime Institute as serves as West Africa’s Tier III Standards, which as serves as West Africa’s Tier III facility with PCI DSS, ISO 27001 and 9001 certifications.

MDXi customers have direct access to all major telecom carrier and Internet Service Provider (ISP) networks in West Africa, multiple peering exchanges in Nigeria, Ghana, Amsterdam, and London, offering cloud services in addition to data hosting.

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