The Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), an umbrella body of all cyber security professionals in Nigeria has highlighted all the factors that will contribute to 2023 cyber security threats in the country.
In an 11-page report titled ‘National Cyber Threat Forecast 2023’, CSEAN noted that having seen a significant increase in the complexity and impact of cyber threats worldwide in 2022, and Nigeria was no exception, it decided to collect and analyze data from various sources, including cybersecurity professionals in the country, incident reports, and 2021 and 2022 threat trends, to present the forecast of cyber threats for 2023.
The report was co-authored by Oluwafemi Osho, John Odumesi, Hamzat Lateef and Hassanat Abdulraheem, who are members of the Directorate of Research and Development at Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria.
According to the report, several factors will contribute to the predicted threats, including the upcoming 2023 general election, the economic situation in the country, a lack of transparency in reporting security breaches, and a lack of coordination among organisations within the same sector.
Other contributing factors include inadequate and inconsistent responses to cyber threats by government and regulatory bodies, outdated government computing resources, a lack of incident response plans in many organisations, a shortage and an increase in the emigration of cybersecurity professionals, and frequent strikes in higher education institutions.
Meanwhile, CSEAN has decided to categorise the National Cyber Threat Forecast 2023’ into two sections; election-related threats and regular and emerging threats.
Under 2023 election-related threats, the report highlighted the spread of misinformation and disinformation, hate speech, Malinformation/Cyber Smearing and attacks against INEC cyberinfrastructure.
In the regular and emerging threats section, the report pointed out government infrastructure as a target (GIaaT), malware, another year of ransomware, attacks on financial institutions, attacks in the cloud, the menace of insider threats, cryptocurrency-based threats, ponzi schemes, rug pull, pump and dump, phishing and social engineering, SMEs will feel the brunt of cyber threats more, privacy breaches by online money lenders and increased cyber-attacks through networks of higher institutions.
In conclusion, the report indicates that in 2023, Nigeria will face a range of cyber threats that will be perpetrated by threat factors using a variety of tactics, techniques, and procedures. According to the report, the threats will include large-scale propagation, and potential weaponization of mis/disinformation, ransomware attacks, and phishing attacks, among others.
Commenting on the report, the President of the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria, Mr. Ade Shoyinka, emphasized that one of the main factors that is expected to influence the cyber threat landscape of 2023 is the general elections.
He believes that the 2023 general elections, scheduled to hold next month is coming with too much pressure with the various actors trying to outdo each other. Thus, it is expected to bring hate speeches, fake news and all sort of propaganda.
To mitigate these threats, the President recommends that individuals, organizations and relevant government bodies must adopt appropriate cybersecurity measures and strategies. “Furthermore, all stakeholders must work together to ensure a concerted effort to protect the cyber sovereignty of the country as cybersecurity is a collective responsibility,” he advised.