NSA Raises the Alarm over Cybercrime’s Damage to National Image

 Concerned about the alarming widespread growth of cybercrime, the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Sambo Dasuki, has advocated proactive approach to tackle the menace.

Dasuki who was speaking at the First National Cybersecurity Forum in Lagos said the abnormal trend is denting Nigerian image and those of many nations.

According to him,  “realising the importance of cyber space, the Federal Government of Nigeria has designated cyber security as a national security priority with the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) stepping up efforts towards meeting the challenge by working in close collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure a safer and more secure cyberspace.”

He added that experiences from other jurisdictions have shown that success of national cybersecurity initiatives can best be achieved by adopting a coordinated and integrated approach encompassing Law; Technology; Institutional Capacity Building; Private Sector Partnership (PPP) and International Law Enforcement Cooperation.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary Special Services, Alhaji Ibrahim Mahe, the NSA said that computers and the internet represent modern tools used by criminals and the trend would continue for the foreseeable future because of the fact that cybercrimes are particularly lucrative.

He said: “They are generally non-violent crimes, yield high profits and have relatively low risk of capture. Incidents of cybercrime have caused extensive loss to the national economies and pose challenging threats of cyber terrorism among nations.”

Giving an overview of the Draft National Cybersecurity Strategy in Nigeria, Director of Communication, Office of the National Security Adviser, Ambassador Haruna Wando, said that with the growth of computer technology in Nigerian businesses and personal life, so also is the increase in computer based crimes originating from Nigeria or aided by Nigerian citizens around the world.

“The telecommunication and banking industry have been the worst hit by this menace due to its high dependence on the Internet and its many online tools. Traditionally, Nigerian cyber-crime activities appear to be only limited to money fraud Internet based crimes. The recent trend of web defacement or hijacking and e-mail scams has now changed this perception. Web bullying instances are on the rise in the country, especially with the coming into being of social networking websites like facebook and twitter," he said.

In order to reflect a more cogent approach towards a more secure cyberspace in Nigeria in line with international baseline standard and global best practice, the Office of the National Security Adviser has been pursuing a number of initiatives including the development of a National Cybersecurity Policy and strategy for Nigeria.

It also drafts and proposes relevant laws required to be enacted by the National Assembly for the security of computer systems and networks in Nigeria pursuant to national strategies on cybersecurity.

The office has also established National Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Mechanism with Early Warning System (EWS) and Alerts for all cyber related emergencies in the country (ngCERT).

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