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‘Regulatory compliance will mitigate cybersecurity threats’

Cyber Attacks: Nigerian banks spent N200b in 2019

Having been convinced that no technology solution can guarantee 100 per cent cybersecurity protection for organisations, experts have stressed that regulatory compliance on cybersecurity, coupled with the deployment of key Information Technology (IT) solutions, would help in mitigating cybersecurity risks.

Worried that cybercriminals were becoming more sophisticated in their attacks on organisations and individual sites, with an increasing number of victims that have lost so much money and vital data, the technology experts advised organisations to invest in key IT solutions that would mitigate cybersecurity risks, while calling on government regulatory bodies to enforce compliance, especially in the use of software application and devices.

The experts gave this advice at a cybersecurity forum in Lagos recently.

Addressing the increasing rate of cyberattacks on organisations across the country, the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Rakiya Mohammed, who was represented by a senior staff in the Information Technology Department at the Bank, Mr. Ibrahim Kyuka, attributed the increasing rate of cyberattacks to the increased adoption of smartphones and other devices used in connecting the internet, coupled with the increased number of internet users in the country, as well the increased broadband penetration level in the country, which is currently put at 33 per cent penetration, with estimated growth to reach 70 per cent by 2023.

According to her, the growth rate in broadband, internet access and smartphone adoption, has equally resulted in increased usage of the internet, and has greatly exposed organisations to vulnerability. She however advised organisations to be proactive to the challenges and ensure strict regulatory compliance on cybersecurity, while deploying key technology solutions that would mitigate threats of any kind.

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The Chief Executive Officer, ITANDT Solutions Limited, convener of the forum, Mr. Akpos Okoro, said organisations must not wait for cybercriminals to strike and disrupt their operations before they begin to invest in cybersecurity solutions. Organisations must not build a wall of defence that will cage them and restrict their activities because they want to avoid cyberattacks. The best way is to collaborate with IT solution experts in order to have the freedom that any organisation needs, Okoro said.

According to him, “There is no end to cyberattacks, but the best way to protect organisations from losing vital data to cyberattacks, is to invest in key technology solutions that will mitigate cyber risks.

“Organisations that want to grow must automate their businesses and take their data to the cloud and the data must be protected.
“What we have done in ITANDT, is to introduce organisations to key solutions that will help them mitigate cybersecurity risks. So we are partnering IBM, a global IT solution company to bring key solutions to organisations that will address all kinds of cybersecurity threats, when fully and well implemented.”

IT Security Manager at IBM, Mr. Ronald Martey, said issues with cybersecurity remained a universal challenge to organisations, adding that over five billion personal data records have so far been stolen through cyberattacks launched across various countries of the world, with over $8 trillion loss recorded. According to him, focus on regulatory compliance, increased investments in IT solutions would go a long way in mitigating cyber risks.

Technology Specialist at IBM, Mr. Khalid Shaban, said: “Cyberattacks can happen anywhere, especially from an insider perspective through phishing. Malware is no longer the most prevalent threat, as employees are now more likely to encounter phishing links, because in every 20 seconds, a new phishing site is registered globally.”

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Shaban, added that in 2014, about 138 billion apps were downloaded via social media platforms and in 2017, the number of downloaded apps increased by 50 per cent, with malicious code infecting over 11.6 million mobile devices used for such downloads.

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