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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 a 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 per cent loss in the `country’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the country’s Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu.

Also,62 per cent of firms are being attacked weekly, according to a 2017 International 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. Remi Afon 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 per cent 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 the 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.

Tardigrade – an Enterprise Risk Assessment (ERA) solution to the rescue

In the industry today, Tardigrade, an Enterprise Risk Assessment (ERA) solution, introduced into Nigeria by Nollysoft, towers among other Risk assessment solutions present robust impact assessments and strategic security solutions to organisation by helping them to have in place processes that ensure they understand their gaps and state of preparedness to respond to cyber breaches.  Senior Management and Board of organisations are often faced with the following key concerns among several: How protected is their organisation from internal and external threats, is the organisation a direct target for attacks?, who is accountable for assessing and managing the risks posed by changes to the business strategy or technology?

Others are how effective is their system of internal control and being applied? how do they compare to competitions and how do we compare with our peers in the industry?

Tardigrade solution effectively addresses these concerns.

According to industry experts, organisations need a good handle on the cyber threats and risks their organisation may face. They also need to have a grasp of whether their system of internal control is effective, or basically, need to implement specific security controls from standards such NIST 800-53 or ISO 27001.

The Tardigrade assessment solution helps organisations to understand their cybersecurity and internal control risks so that they can implement appropriate mitigation controls to achieve a desired state of preparedness.

“Tardigrade Cybersecurity Assessment helps organisations identify their risks and determine their cybersecurity preparedness.  The assessment solution provides businesses with repeatable and measurable processes to inform senior management of their organisations’ cybersecurity preparedness over time,” said Sola Koleowo, Chief Executive Officer of Nollysoft Limited on behalf of the company.

The ERA solution, Koleowo, said is based on best practice frameworks set by Federal Financial Institution Examination Council (FFIEC), Information Technology Examination Handbook (ITEH), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Cybersecurity Framework (CF)and International Standard Organisation (ISO 27001) and regulatory guidance.

According to him, the Tardigrade Internal Control solution enables organizations to understand deficiencies in their system of internal control to allow the creation of effective mitigating control to help achieve business objectives. It is based on industry standard and best practices framework – Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).

On the security requirement traceability matrix, Koleowo said, “Tardigrade Security Requirement Traceability Matrix solution allows organisations to effectively select security controls from standards and regulations for implementation either as a part of a Secure Software Development Lifecycle (SSDLC) or regulatory mandate,” stressing that the solution currently supports 2 industry standards: NIST 800-53 R4 and ISO 27001-2013, and two regulations: Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and Monetary Association of Singapore (MAS).

The total cost of ownership (TCO) of Tardigrade solution is low.  No CAPEX  needed to acquire the solution.  It is a Cloud-based solution and being offered as a service.

Last Line

Leveraging innovative enterprise risk assessment solution such as Tardigrade by organisations from private to public sectors of the economy will not only guarantee effective protection for user organisations but also help curb losses to the national economy. This is just as industry analysts say the arrival of Tardigrade will raise the bar of organisations’ protection against potential cyber threats and associated losses.

 

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ISPON Makes Case for CPN Affiliates on NITDA’s Board

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Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), one of the affiliate bodies of the Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), is worried about the continued absence of CPN representatives on the Board of Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), months after the inauguration of its board members, describing the situation as unconstitutional and lopsided.

 

While NITDA is the government agency responsible for the implementation of the country’s policies on Information Technology (IT), CPN is a government agency saddled with the responsibility of registering and controlling all IT practitioners in the country.

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The NITDA Act states that four CPN representatives would be on the NITDA Board, which are selected from each affiliate member of CPN, of which ISPON is one of them.

 

This has been the tradition since the inception of NITDA, until this year, when the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu inaugurated the NITDA Board without CPN and its affiliate members, a situation that is giving ISPON and other affiliate members of CPN, some concerns.

 

Worried about the continuous absence of CPN members on NITDA Board, ISPON has called on the minister to quickly address the situation and correct the imbalance, inline with NITDA’s Act.

 

The former President of ISPON, James Emadoye who raised the concern during the official handing over of the administration of ISPON to the incoming President, Dr. Yele Okeremi in Lagos recently, urged the minister to revisit the inauguration and ensure that CPN members are on the Board of NITDA.

 

Okeremi who saw the situation as loss of permanent seats by the CPN, promised to engage the minister until the matter is resolved.

 

Narrating the circumstances that led to the absence of CPN members on NITDA’s Board, Emadoye said: “It is the responsibility of the minister to inaugurate members of the NITDA Board and the minister had called for the list from CPN, which was sent to him before the inauguration, but along the line NITDA instead on quota basis for the selection process and that someone from the North-west must be on the board, which negates the NITDA Act that clearly states that four professionals representing each of the geopolitical group will be nominated to the NITDA Board.

 

Emadoye insisted it was not proper to neglect the affiliates in the inauguration of NITDA Board and called on the minister to revisit the issue and address it amicably.

 

The Minister of Communications had in March this year, inaugurated a team of 16 board members that will drive the affairs of NITDA, without the four representatives from CPN.

 

Since then, stakeholders from the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry, have criticised the omission of CPN nominees, while blaming it on NITDA, whom they believed did not handle the entire process of the inauguration with the utmost national interest it deserved.

 

Giving reasons for the omission of CPN nominees, the Director, E-Government Development and Regulation at NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji told THISDAY that the omission of CPN nominees was as a result of a mix-up in the submission of names and that CPN has been further directed to rectify the list of its nominees, and resend same to the minister. According to Olatunji, as soon as the list is rectified and sent, the CPN members would be inaugurated into NITDA Board.

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ReadyBargains, New Online Shopping Platform Begins Operations

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ReadyBargains online business has launched an online platform to allow Nigerians who love shopping online visit shops online, make purchases and get them delivered to their choice locations.

 

“Our goal is to meet the needs of different classes of people looking for good bargains,” Don Okhuofu, chairman, ReadyBargains, said during the launch of the platform recently.

 

“Customers using our platform have access to shop from different UK and US stores using a single cart and a $10 off cart coupon available to the first basket checked out by every customer.

 

“The products are delivered to our customers across the country at their door steps of collection points of their choices,” Okhuofu said.

 

According to him, the platform gives users a 10- 15 percent cost reduction, compared with that of competitors.

 

He noted that all users have access to an additional $10 off every purchases of above $100 made from Walmart, Tesco, Carters and Mothercare.

 

“The risks of getting fake products from our services are remote because users shop directly from the foreign stores themselves. We assure users of quality products because they deal directly with the producers,” he further said.

 

Speaking on the challenging environment for e-commerce operators in the country, Okhuofu stated that the seeming failure of e-commerce business was because of their cost/revenue structure.

 

 

 

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Edo Innovation Hub Partners Siemens on ‘The Hack Edo Series’

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Sequel to its launch only last week, the Edo Innovates tech cluster has concluded modalities for The Hack Edo Series, a multi-dimensional initiative to identify and incubate the best ideas that tackle problems of power generation and distribution faced by individuals, businesses and the digital ecosystem, with a N3.5 million prize money.

In a statement by Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Skills Development and Jobs Creation, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare, said that The Hack Edo Series which is being organised in partnership with Impact Hub and Siemens Nigeria, will leverage innovation technology to identify solutions in the area of power generation, adding that N3.5 million in cash prizes will be won by the best ideas.

She said starts-ups or groups with ideas can apply on the Edo jobs website, as deadline for application is on June 30.

According to her, “through a series of practical Hackathons, the Hack Edo series aims to equip young Nigerian innovators with the skills necessary to make impact in their various communities.”

She said the series will help increase the number of individuals taking action on social and economic issues, build a collaborative community that tackles issues and identify the best ideas that will be supported through the incubation phase.

She said the hackathons will catalyse high-growth startups within Edo State, support development of ventures from ideation to commercialization and promote job creation and economic development, adding, “this will drive and ensure the increased adoption of local technology by government, corporates and development agencies across Edo state and Nigeria, strengthen and raise the standard of startups in the region and deliver positive social impact returns to communities and people across the region.”

It would be recalled that the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, alongside Governor Godwin Obaseki, last week, launched the South-South Innovation Hub in the state, kicking off activities for the state’s fledging tech ecosystem at the remodeled Institute of Continuing Education (ICE).

The state government has partnered with over 25 technology firms in setting up the facility, which will serve as a one-stop shop for training, incubation, acceleration for start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the state.

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