Information and Communication Technology (ICT) experts have decried the dearth of cyber security personnel in Nigeria and warned that the economy is at higher risk of being a target of cyber-attacks, especially the oil sector and banking industry.
The experts noted that only 1,800 certified cyber personnel are available, which according to them, is grossly insufficient to serve the country’s teeming population and increasing digital penetration, adding that Nigeria has been ranked one of the highest in Africa e-country cyber risk because of the operational bottlenecks and insufficient expertise, lack of legal standing to tackle sophisticated attack.
According to 2017 Global Cyber Security Index of International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the level of commitment in Africa to cyber security is lowest compared to other continents except Mauritius and Egypt that are in the leading stage of demonstrating high commitment to cyber security.
Experts during the 9th eWorld Forum 2018 on Nigeria readiness for digital transformation said the increasing online presence in Africa by governments, businesses, and individuals has made Internet users more susceptible to cyber-attacks. President of Medallion Communications, Ikechukwu Nnamani, noted that Nigeria has not been able to clamp on cybercrimes as only few crimes are reported with no forensic audit in place.
According to World Economic Forum (WEF)’s yearly Global Risk Report for 2018, cyber-attacks are now considered the third most serious global threat behind only extreme weather and natural disasters. To salvage the situation, he advised organisations to have at least one cyber security personnel and consistently train staff to improve skill set.
He however noted that preparedness of Nigerian organisations for digital transformation is poor based on a recent cyber security report which finds that over 90 per cent firms are operating below the security poverty line significantly exposing themselves to cyber security risks.
“There is no legal system to seek attack redress so organisations should invest in people to stay ahead of cyber criminals. This will further deepen digital transformation and make cyberspace safer for all,” Nnamani added.
Managing Director, eStream Networks, Razaq Ogungboye, said digital transformation is not about technology alone but also about what it can do to solve problem in an efficient and affordable manner, as readiness rests largely on the government and agencies involved.
He noted that the major challenge is government’s will power to implement legal support for the industry, including fragmented or limited infrastructure, RoW, multiple taxation, and epileptic power supply.
“The benefits of digital transformation are so numerous that everyone will find a value in technology but a lot has to be in place to achieve this. The cybercrime Act has a lot of loopholes that must be addressed. Also, education and more awareness should be done on the evolving technology,” he added. Ogungboye charged tech experts to be persistent in the drive for a favorable working condition as tech would create disruption and move the country forward.