The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is embarking on a nationwide campaign to sensitise the citizens about the inherit dangers associated with the activities of cybersecurity in Nigeria.
NITDA noted that the sensitization campaigns are part of the Agency’s continuous efforts aimed at equipping citizens with foundational knowledge as well as share best practices on staying safe in cyberspace.
“There has been a tremendous increase in the number of incidences where Nigerians have lost money and data through vulnerabilities arising from lack of knowledge on how to manage their online presence and personal details. The cybercriminals use social engineering, phishing mails, and probably specific to Nigeria, the use of text messages pretending to be sent from banks, requesting for PIN or revalidation of BVN numbers. To the unaware, such are the sources where vital information needed for making unauthorized withdrawals from victims’ bank accounts occur. A more worrisome and recent trend is the SIM Swap cases, where the victim’s SIM card is swapped; an operation that makes the victim’s phone inaccessible while funds are transferred,” NITDA said in a statement by the Director General, Dr. Isa Pantami.
Te statement argues that knowing that everyone that uses ICT devices is vulnerable, these workshops target executives of registered associations and groups, with the ultimate aim to reach their members. “We have also deployed effective conventional channels and social media in conveying the stay-safe message. The workshops use presentations and interactive demonstration of trending concepts like SMS, SIM swap, malware, phishing, social engineering and its manifestations, to disseminate the stay-safe tips. To further ensure that attendees assimilate the message succinctly, the contents are translated into the most predominant language of the zone,” it added.
Cybersecurity has attracted the attention of governments, enterprises, groups and individuals owing to the myriads of potentials for business growth, damage, national security and sovereignty. To nations, the negatives could cripple a nation’s economy should critical infrastructure be affected. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has evaluated nations in the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), placing Nigeria on number 4 in Africa. These programmes are also aimed at improving the country’s standing on the GCI.
The first of the series of Workshops was held in Katsina, Katsina State for the North West Zone on Thursday 29th March, 2018, followed by that of Bayelsa State on the 19th April, 2018. The event for the North East held at Gombe in Gombe State on the 16th July, 2018. The current workshop is holding on Tuesday 23rd October, 2018 at Lokoja, Kogi State, for the North Central Zone. The events attracted participants from Government Agencies, Military and Paramilitary organisations, the Academia, registered cooperatives and associations and the private sector from the states of the zones. Dates and venues for subsequent Workshops will be made public in due course.