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Taking Enterprise Security to the Board



Anton Jacobsz, managing director at Networks Unlimited

It’s that time of year, again, with many companies busying themselves in the art of budgeting and forecasting for 2018.


In some companies, this means the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) having to communicate the importance of including enterprise security in this planning, using a language that the members of the board will understand.


“For some, this will mean being given a short amount of time to make sure a group of non-technical people understand the company’s business risks and believe that your plan to mitigate them is comprehensive, necessary and worthy of investment,” said Anton Jacobsz, managing director at Networks Unlimited.


“The keyword here is ‘business’ – we have got to translate our on-the-ground security concerns into business terms, risks and outcomes. We’re all very good at listing statistics but the ability to translate this into business outcomes, which is the language your board understands, is what will win the day.


“Your board’s time, attention span and ability to consume ‘geek speak’ is limited, but there are steps you can take to ensure the time you spend with them matters,” Jacobsz explained.


Time for a few home truths

Is your exco one of the many that thinks their organisation is not going to be of interest to cyber criminals? If yes, then it may be time to explain clearly that every single organisation, regardless of size or business focus, is likely to  experience a cyber security breach at one point or another. The reason for this is data.


If your business processes payments of any kind, for example salaries or online payments, or if you transmit or store records, or if you’re developing a cure for a dread disease like cancer, then you have information that a hacker can sell.


Ryan Kearney, Executive Vice President of Product Development and Chief Technology Officer of F5 Networks, advised that telling a compelling story about a security breach, preferably in your industry or locale, will help board members understand the risks here.


“Give examples from your own company. Identify critical information assets – intellectual property, sensitive customer data – and paint a picture of what would happen and what it would cost if they were compromised,” he said.


Use statistics to convince, not just frighten

There are ways to move the statistics conversation from one that leaves exco with a feeling of dread to one where they truly understanding the real potential impact to the enterprise.


F5’s Kearney says the following types of statistics could be used to educate and surprise board members:


  • 73 percent of companies suffered at least one security breach in the past year.


  • About a third of employees targeted for phishing will open fraudulent e-mails.


  • More than one in 10 take the bait – and it only takes one.


  • Less than two minutes can elapse from the hacker hitting send to your systems being compromised.


  • Hackers are inside your organisation, on average, for at least four months before they’re discovered.


  • Web apps are the number one entry point for breaches.


“As the C-suite leader in charge of cyber defence, it is up to the CISO to explain the impact of this to the board,” says Jacobsz. “This is the point where you should be talking in terms of tangible and intangible losses, which are sure to resonate with them.”


Tangible costs as a result of security breaches include fines as a result of breaks in customer SLAs, revenue losses due to downtime, compliance/audit fines, potential legal fees and incident response costs, which incorporate unplanned costs for hiring third party breach experts.


Less immediately obvious damage could include issues like the impact a breach could have on your company’s brand; existing and potential customer perception/loss; the loss of your competitive advantage and even the potential for the board’s personal reputation being affected.


Introduce security awareness to the company culture

If you talk of such things around the braai, you might have heard somebody complaining about how their company doesn’t allow Dropbox or Wetransfers – how archaic, right? Wrong, said Jacobsz.


“These policies are enforced because someone, somewhere along the lines, opened a mail, clicked on a Dropbox link and downloaded a file from an unknown, untrusted source resulting in a cyber security breach. But this can be avoided. A secure business is one where everyone is educated about threats and does their part to reduce risk.”


F5’s Kearney agreed, saying it starts with rigorous and repeated training and continues with individual buy in.


Furthermore, as a key participant in creating the company culture at the outset, the board members themselves must also be challenged to champion efforts that have no received budget approval, he said.


“You have done your homework and secured funds for some of your efforts but if you have risk areas that need addressing but have no budget allocation, board members need to know this and either accept the risk or champion a solution. There’s no better way to get something accomplished than by saying the board requested it get done.”


Discuss incident response and cyber insurance


As mentioned earlier, the likelihood of organisations remaining untouched by security breaches is minimal. Being prepared is the best line of defence, and employing the services of a good incident response firm is the first step.


The second is considering options in cyber insurance, which is the fastest growing insurance in the world and is projected to grow by 300 percent from $2.5 billion today in annual premiums by 2020. Here, show your work and do the maths for your board – calculate how much your business can absorb and insure the rest.


“Use your board-facing time wisely,” said Jacobsz.


“Make sure you prioritise and focus on the top cyber risks bringing solutions to the table. Above all, demonstrate your burning issues in small, easy to digest chunks. Do this and you and your boards will soon be singing in harmony and protecting the company at the same time.”



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Konga Appoints Ijogun Chairman



Olusiji Ijogun

Konga, Nigeria’s leading e-commerce giant, has announced the appointment of frontline corporate guru, Olusiji Ijogun as Chairman.


The appointment takes effect from April 1st, 2018.


Konga has dominated the news recently after its recent acquisition by the Zinox Group, Nigeria’s foremost technology conglomerate, in a move that several industry watchers believe will position the company on a stronger footing and raise the profile of e-commerce in Nigeria.


A seasoned and widely experienced technocrat, Ijogun boasts over three decades of top-notch performance in finance and management which he has brought to bear on the fortunes of a number of thriving businesses across various sectors.


His sterling career has seen him hold several top positions including Senior Group Manager, Unilever Audit, Divisional Managing Director, UAC Foods, Group Finance Director, UAC of Nigeria Plc and Commercial Director, Lever Egypt. He was appointed to the Board of Honeywell Group where he positioned the Group in the foods sector of the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) segment.


Mr. Ijogun holds a B.Sc (Hons.) degree from the Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Cost and Management Accountants UK and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. He currently serves as the Chairman of Ackmen Nigeria Limited and CEO of Innodel Consulting


His wealth of experience across several brands and sectors is expected to come in handy in positioning Konga on a path of sound corporate governance and a greater share of the e-commerce market in Nigeria and beyond.

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JAMB Warns as Fraudster Urges UTME Candidates to Pay for Scores ‘Upgrades’



As the writing of the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination came to an end on Friday, fraudsters have invaded the Internet, asking candidates to call some numbers through which they could “upgrade” their results.


In a post shared on social media on Sunday, one Mr. Magaji who calls himself JAMB Upgrade Director, urged candidates to call his alleged telephone number 09038747733 for payment instructions for the “upgrade” of their results.


He goes ahead to provide names of candidates and their alleged scores which were supposedly upgraded from low marks to high ones.


The impostor writes in bad grammar unexpected of any official of an examination body whatsoever:


“Attention, attention, attention. This is to inform those who score below 180 in JAMB, the exam board has officially release the upgrading system for those who did not do well.


“Scores has already been upgraded. Congratulations to these following names for your result has been upgraded, please contact upgrading board on 09038747733 Mr. Magaji or WhatsApp me.


“Note: you have to see your previous result before payment.”


The fraud then proceeds to provide what he calls candidates’ names, their previous scores and the ‘upgraded’ ones.


He writes, “You can check your name out — Desmond Samuel 111-280; Chukwu Glory 174-320; Loveth Jude 144-290; Adams Godstime 123-322; William Samson 136-290; Akpan Johnson 156-312; Roland Felicia 170-285; Emeka Queen 171-384; Vivian Hudson 163-299; Mary God’swill 152-321; Doris Gabriel 122-291; Adams Chuka 132-242.


He then calls on UTME candidates who wish to upgrade their results, saying, “If you wish to upgrade your JAMB score, please contact JAMB Upgrading Director (09038747733). Thank you.”


When contacted, JAMB spokesperson, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, warned that the information is false in its entirety.


Benjamin said, “Obviously, this fraud is so ignorant and she or he definitely misunderstood the 2016 incident in which the parameters used for the examination were wrong and therefore had to be corrected.


“In the process of transforming the grades of candidates for the 2016 exams, the examiners used the wrong parameters.


“What we call ‘transformation’ is actually a measurement instrument. So, when we discovered the problem, we did the right transformation but people took it out of proportion to interpret it as addition or subtraction of marks. We only did the right thing.


“It was never an upgrade, as this fraud and others in his category deemed it to be.


“Even in the 2016 incident, the candidates affected were not up to 60,000 out of the 1.5 million that wrote the exams.”


Benjamin warned that no one should listen to the lie, saying that the examination body is busy reviewing the CCTVs in each of this year’s exam centres to ascertain how much candidates and supervisors complied with rules and regulations.


“The CCTVs will reveal any infractions that the supervisors might not have noticed.


“Once we are satisfied with the review, the results will be released without any delay.”


He said the results of over 1.2 million candidates are currently being collated, and that as such, no one can possibly claim to be in charge of any upgrade whatsoever.


He said, “There could be nothing called results upgrade because in JAMB, no one fails or passes. It is a selection exam, which is dependent on general performance.


“Though you may not score enough to get you admitted into a tertiary institution, no one fails.”


He disclosed that the cut-off point for the 2018 exam would likely be 180 or 190.


He also said the results would be released late Monday evening or early Tuesday morning.

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FG to Use ICT to Curb Unemployment



Dr. Isa Pantami, Director General of NITDA

Federal government has said it is aware of difficulties in securing white-collar jobs by youths in the country and this has compelled it to look inward to build technology entrepreneurs.


This was revealed by Dr. Isa Pantami, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency ([NITDA), during the ninth edition of Startup Friday event for Akwa Ibom youths in Uyo, the state capital.


According to him, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become inevitable. The future of the country’s youths depends on ICT.


The Director General said the Startup Friday programme was created to encourage every Nigerian to look inward in tackling

Nigeria’s economic problems, stressing that, “ICT is the global driver of all aspects of the economy”.


“We are aware of the harsh condition in securing white-collar jobs in the country. So, it has become apparent for the government to focus more in building technology entrepreneurs. A developed indigenous ICT eco-system would help the country to diversify its economy from oil.


“Data is the new oil. With the two local content-related Presidential Orders, we need to focus on locally-produced innovations for our local markets. NITDA intends to encourage and support ICT entrepreneurship and promote it as an attractive career option for the teeming youths”, he said.


He said the startup was brought to Akwa Ibom to encourage the youths to eke a living through ICT, adding that plans had reached advance stage to establish a Digital Job Centre in the state.




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