Pantami says cybercrime travels at speed of light, advocates awareness

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Dr Isa Pantami, the Director-General DG-NITDA2
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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has said that cybercrime travels at the speed of light while cyber security travels at the speed of law.

He stated this at the maiden Cyber Security Conference organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on Thursday in Abuja noting that awareness was key to secure cyberspace.

The conference was tagged: “Strengthening the Security and Resilience of the Nation’s Communications Infrastructure’’

The minister further explained that the bill to check the threat was not something that could be enacted within a day or two, adding that cybercrime did not respect the law.

“We should ensure that we secure our cyberspace through creating awareness; awareness is key, let people understand that when you go online you are exposed.
“You need to take some precautions to ensure that you minimise the risks of exposing yourself to it.

“If we create that awareness, it will go a long way in reducing the cybercrime we have in Nigeria.

“Many people do not know the implication of receiving emails without knowing the source and just go and open the attachment.

“This is one of the ways that our systems are being compromised and secondly through using pirated supplies.

“We usually look at the cheapest one. If we go for the cheaper one, the probability of compromising our system is high.

“We need to be updating our applications whether on our Smart phones or anywhere,” Pantami said.

Earlier, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that the internet provided a vast array of prospects to individuals irrespective of their status.

Danbatta said that with the growing volume of adoption of technologies and broad nature of the internet, came the sophistication of cyber-attacks.

He noted that such allowed cyber criminals to attack people outside their geographical locations.

“From social networking to businesses, to research and development, and so much more, all can be exploited by cyber criminals to carryout crimes over the medium.

He said that both technical measures and appropriate legal instruments must be put in place to enhance the resilience and integrity of ICT infrastructure and also to safeguard cyberspace users.

The EVC informed the gathering that an e-fraud desk would be created in his organization to serve as a platform for reporting cases to the security agencies for further investigations and prosecution.

According to Danbatta, the NCC is committed to making sure that the Internet has less cyber criminals, through educating members of the public on the negative impacts of cybercrime.

He stressed the need to limit the impacts by putting in place some initiatives, such as:

“To collaborate with relevant stakeholders to embark on a nationwide Cyber security awareness campaign starting with the FCT and extending to all 36 states of the federation, targeting at young school children.

“To enlighten them on Internet etiquettes, Cybercrime and its Penalties in line with the Nigerian Cybercrime Act 2015, and protection against Cybercriminals.

“Establishmet of a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team (CSIRT) Centre to help serve as the single national point of contact for international coordination of Cyber security incidents in Nigeria.

“To create Technical Framework for the Use of Social Media Network in Nigeria.

Danbatta said the objective “is to provide the baseline for Social Media governance, policy, and procedures to guide individuals, businesses or the government on the use of social media.”

Our correspondent reports that the conference was to introduce cyber insurance, bridging the cyber workforce gap and strengthening national cooperation.

It was also for exchange of information and development of comprehensive strategies to curb cybercrimes.

It was also reported that the programme, which will be annual, will address the cyber security challenges confronting the communications industry in Nigeria.