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Skill Gap Hobbles Fight Against Cyber Crime

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Cyber security experts have decried the dearth of skilled human capital in the fight against cyber- attacks in Nigeria which has only 1800 professional in that space.

 

The experts are therefore seeking increased attention.

 

Oluseyi Akindeinde, chief technical officer, Digital Encode, expressed worries that Nigeria’s case in respect of skilled human resources to fight cyber-attack is very bad.

 

“It is true and also quite alarming. There’s a dearth of cyber security experts’ world over but much worse here owing to the fact that cyber security is an ever changing dynamic field and you have to consistently be up to date with global trends,” he said.

 

He urged that cyber security be included in the curriculum for computer science students. “If that isn’t feasible a new course of study at the tertiary level that will be purely based on cyber security so that students can go to university to have a degree in cyber security. That will by and large address the dearth of talent in the market,” he added.

 

According to William Makatiani, managing director, Serianu, “our research shows that Africa has around 10,000 cyber security professionals and a total of 1800 in Nigeria. This is alarming and dangerous particularly for organizations in Nigeria and Africa.

 

“The real impact of these low numbers was felt at the height of last year’s Ransomware attacks where we did not have enough professionals to serve organizations. Many cyber security professionals were contracted by established companies leaving the SMEs particularly vulnerable.

 

“Cyber security is a new field in Africa as such, the low numbers are not surprising. The large skills gap is also a world –wide concern.

 

“That said, this presents us with enormous opportunities and career paths, particularly for young people to innovate within this space.”

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that it cost between $600 and $1500 to get an internationally recognized certificate in cyber security.

 

Makatiani however, offered ways to address this problem among which include widening of the target market.

 

“We cannot solve the problem by simply encouraging users to do more certifications. We need to widen the target market: Organizations tend to look for people with traditional technology credentials – IT, Computer Science etc.

 

“But when you look at the issues we are trying to address as Africans, we need technology analysts, cyber risk engineers, data analysts, risk experts most of which do not necessarily warrant a technology course.

 

“For the few who are practicing cyber security, majority tend to be tool analysts who focus on understanding a tool instead of the data processed within the tool. To ensure that we Anticipate, Detect, Respond and Contain enterprise cyber threats, cyber security professionals need to move away from only configuring tools and getting reports to actual analysis of data.

 

“This includes understanding the data-sources, what are normal and what are not normal as well as key indicators of compromise among others, Analysts need to know their tools, data and their enemy.

 

“Inbreeding of talent: We need to adopt a culture of breeding in-house talents. Majority of organizations would rather poach talent from each other than develop the talent,” he explained.

 

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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CSEAN Asks Buhari to Assent Electronic Transaction Bill

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Cyber Security Expert Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) has called on President, Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electronic Transaction bill, which has been passed by the Senate in May last year.

 

The cyber security advocacy group, said that assenting to the bill becomes very crucial at the moment, when cyber criminals are becoming very daring, innovative and are seen destroying economies with just a click of the mouse.

 

The Electronic Transaction Bill is a bill that provides for the validity of contracts expressed in electronic forms, matters relating to evidence, security of online transactions, electronic signatures, disclosure of information, protection of personal data, and protecting the rights of consumers.

 

Mr. Remi Afon, president of CSEAN, explained that the bill, which has been sitting on the President’s desk for some time now, will protect Nigerians in their financial transactions when finally signed into law.

 

Apart from protecting the majority of Nigerians in their financial dealings, the bill will also protect the banks and their infrastructure, as they can leverage it to prosecute cases and make claims. He said the time has come when the government would show great seriousness in ensuring that Nigerians are protected in their financial transactions

 

He said: “As an advocacy group, we are calling on the President to assent to the Electronic Transaction Bill, as it will provide a legal and regulatory framework for conducting transactions using electronic or related media, and for the protection of the rights of consumers including the facilitation of electronic commerce in Nigeria.”

 

Wondering why a bill that seeks to protect the citizens against criminals is delayed, Afon argued that Nigeria is so lackadaisical when it comes to the issues of cyber security.

 

He added that Nigerians always wait for an incident to happen before they can take action.

 

“The government really needs to hold the bull by the horn. Everybody, including the banks is feeling the impact of cybercrime, but the government has not really taken steps to secure the country’s cyber space,” he said

 

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MainOne, Orange Deal Targets Cable Extension into Francophone West Africa

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MainOne partnership with French Telecoms company, Orange will see the French telecoms giant co-invest in two new cable landing stations in Dakar, Senegal and Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire while the broadband infrastructure provider will provide additional capacity via its 7000km cable system from Europe to Africa with landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal, reinforcing the position of both companies in the African telecommunications ecosystem.

Thanks to this new cable connection, several countries in West Africa will benefit from better connectivity, lower prices and access to new services.

Orange will benefit from multiple Terabits per second of additional bandwidth for the development of fixed and mobile data in Africa to meet the increasing demands for Internet access via 3G and 4G network.

More specifically, this cable extension is an opportunity to improve connectivity and offer a broader range of services for both Orange Côte d’Ivoire & Senegal’s Sonatel.

In addition, neighboring countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania will benefit from enhanced capacity.

For MainOne, the partnership underscores the company’s vision for a better connected region, its Chief Executive Officer, Funke Opeke says “MainOne continues to lead the digital transformation of our sub-region by investing in affordable connectivity to drive economic development.

“Our objective is to bridge the digital divide between and within West Africa and the rest of the world.

“We are committed to deepening broadband penetration across West Africa and believe our investments in technologically advanced subsea infrastructure will continue to liberalize the international bandwidth market, further support Orange and other wholesale customers, and ultimately result in improved digital services in the region”.

Speaking on the strategic deal, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Middle East and Africa, Alioune Ndiaye says “The development of new digital services in Africa has fostered huge social and economic developments over the past few years.

As barriers to access continue to fall with improved networks and more affordable equipment, Orange, as part of its multi – service strategy, is seeking to position itself as an important partner in the continent’s digital transformation through this new partnership, Orange is set to secure and improve direct access to high – speed broadband services in two of its most important countries, Senegal and the Côte d’Ivoire.”

The MainOne Submarine Cable System links West Africa with Europe, bringing ultra-fast broadband in the region. It runs from Seixal in Portugal through Accra in Ghana to Lagos in Nigeria, with capacity to land branches in Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal, and Cote D’Ivoire. The cable system, which now has an upgradable capacity of over 10 TBPS, first went live in July 2010, becoming the first private subsea cable to bring open-access, broadband capacity to West Africa.

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FG Barks as Illegal Lottery Operators Pocket N1 Trillion

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The federal government has started moves aimed at putting an end to the activities of illegal lottery operators, which leave losses amounting to more than one trillion Naira annually.

 

To this end, the federal government through the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) is to police unauthorized online games.

 

National Lottery Regulatory Commission is also considering on one hand to enlist the help of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) to monitor the payment settlement services to unauthorized lottery operations; and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on another to ban illegal lottery and gambling activities on GSM networks.

 

It will be recalled that Mr Bello Maigari, acting executive secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) has last week raised alarm over the activities of illegal lottery operators.

 

Maigari, said that there were many lottery operators in the country without licence, adding that this has resulted to leakages in terms of what they were supposed to remit to the trust fund.

Bello Maigari, secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund

“Nigerian government is losing more than one trillion Naira every year because of illegal operators. There are a lot of illegal operators in the industry and these are part of the reasons why there are leakages.

 

“Some are conducting this business without being regulated and there are chances that such proceeds will be channelled towards crime, fraud, and of course, money laundering.

 

“We also have so many operators that are not performing for reasons best known to them; they have decided not to be moribund.

 

“And we learnt that some of them lease such licences to third parties to operate and through that there is huge leakage and government is losing revenue, particularly in the last 10 years,’’ he said.

 

Maigari stated that NLTF was collaborating with the NLRC to develop a strong and robust enforcement strategy to curb leakages and enhance remittances.

 

He added that the strategy would be an automated form of collecting proceeds from operators.

 

He explained that the national lottery Act 2005 stated that lottery operators were required to pay NLTF 20 per cent of their proceeds in the first five years of their operation.

 

“The national lottery Act 2005 section 24, sub section 3 requires an operator to pay to the trust fund at the end of every lottery a percentage of 20 per cent for the first five years of operation.

 

“Then subsequently 25 per cent, then after 10 years 27.5 per cent, this is the way it is structured.

 

“We are to use these proceeds to promote good causes for Nigerians in health, sports, water and sanitation and other social services that will impact the social well being of Nigerians.

 

“But our only challenge is that funds are not coming in as expected,’’ he said.

 

 

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