The Cyber Security Expert Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) said it calls for urgency for the Nigerian government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari to follow the steps of other nations like the United State of America and declare October as a Cybersecurity awareness month.
The umbrella body of all cybersecurity experts in Nigeria said such a declaration will stamp its efforts at creating awareness among the citizens, and ultimately, help address the challenge of cybersecurity, which is believed to be one of the biggest concerns facing modern enterprises and organisations today.
“As we round up the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Campaign, the message to the Federal Government is to set aside October as the National Cybersecurity Security Awareness Month. Also, the government should prioritize cybersecurity, while focusing on protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure against cyber-attack,” CSEAN said in a statement issued and signed by its President, Mr. Remi Afon.
The statement noted that despite Nigeria been in the cybercrime spotlight in the recent months both locally and internationally, with the arrest of high-profile international cybercrime gangs with the affiliate to Nigeria and continuous arrest of some homegrown cybercriminals known as “yahoo yahoo” by the EFCC, the majority of businesses in Nigeria today still lack a firm control of their data – where it lives, who has access to it and how it’s being shared.
It disclosed that a recent survey, it conducted shows that more than 90 percent of organizations in Nigeria, both public and private sector lack Cybersecurity Incident Respond Plan, warning that while cyberattack is a matter of when and not if, organizations that fail to plan on how to respond in case of a cyberattack will feel the devastating impact of an attack with significant financial and reputational losses.
The month of October has been dedicated as cybersecurity awareness month by several countries with activities within the month geared to sensitise public on how to stay safe online. In fact, October National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) was launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in October 2004 as a broad effort to help all Americans stay safer and more secure online.
In Nigeria, the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) has also been involved in the October cybersecurity awareness campaign for the past five years, considering that CSEAN is the curator for Stop Think Connect Initiative in Nigeria. Being a partner of the National Cyber Security Agency for Stop Think Connect in the USA, this year adopted the global theme of “Own IT, Secure IT, Protect IT” to send a unified message.
Throughout the month of October, the association rolled out a lot of initiatives to raise awareness, change behaviours, and provide accessible resources in order to educate Nigerians on how to stay safe online. The campaigns, which involved Radio/TV Interviews, Social Media campaigns, Cybersecurity Meetups, a workshop for selected secondary schools and roadshow highlighted several simple steps that all Nigerians can take to protect their personal, financial and/or professional data.