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Nigeria loses $500m to cybercrime yearly – NCC

Nigeria loses $500m to cybercrime yearly - NCC

The Nigeria Communications Commission has issued at least six cyber-attack warnings since the beginning of 2022 to tackle the rising cases of cyber-attack.

NCC revealed that the country loses around $500m to cybercrime yearly just as a report noted that the rising incidence of cyber-attacks has increased to almost 300 per cent since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Punch, citing the Senior Manager, Cyber Risk Services, Deloitte, Ms Funmilola Odumuboni, a cyber-attack occurs every 39 seconds.

COVID-10 lockdown gave room for more adoption of technology, different studies have shown but also increased cyber attacks.

NCC disclosed that data consumption increased from 123,648TB in December 2019 to 205,880.4TB by December 2020.

Sophos in its study also reported that 71 per cent of Nigerian organisations were hit by ransomware in 2021 while 44 per cent of those affected firms had to pay ransoms to get their data back.

According to Check Point Research’s Threat Intelligence Report, Nigerian businesses experience about 2,308 attacks across all industries sectors per week.

In a period of six months, 62 per cent of Nigerian businesses were victims of cyber attacks, where cybercriminals gained control of devices and private data stored on them, emails were the most prominent origin point for 60 per cent of cyberattacks.

Toward the end of 2021, the NCC created an incidence response facility to address the rising cases of cybercrime.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said during the inauguration of the Centre for Computer Security Incident Response that the increase in Internet usage had also resulted in a surge in cyber incidents and criminal activities.

He said, “Thus, the commission recognises that with the borderless nature and pervasiveness of these incidences, relentless and concerted attention is required to protect Internet users as well as the Critical National Information Infrastructure and ensure they are resilient.

“The CSIRT’s services will commence with four main thrusts, namely: monitoring, incident management, communication, and alert and warning.

“The devices for handling these four areas will be scaled up and expanded as the centre’s operations grow in order to enhance the digital economy and ensure it yields great dividends to Nigerian citizens.”

From stealing mobile device sensitive information to hacking and carting away with vehicles, the growth in cyber threats has targeted every industry with an online presence.

The NCC-CSIRT in its recent advisory, warns that organisations and employees use a strong, unique password and enable multi-factor authentication after Yanluowang threat actors gained access to Cisco’s network using an employee’s stolen credential.

It said, “The first step to preventing ransomware attacks is to ensure that employees are using strong, unique passwords for every account and enabling multi-factor authentication (2FA) wherever it’s supported.”

“User education is critical in thwarting this type of attack or any similar attacks, including ensuring that employees are aware of the legitimate channels through which support personnel will contact users so that employees can identify fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information. Organisations should ensure regular systems backup.”

Deloitte’s ‘Nigeria Cybersecurity Outlook 2022 (January 2022)’, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation ranked Nigeria 16th among the countries most affected by Internet crime in 2020

It said, “It is no longer news that cybercrime is increasing in Nigeria, even though some of these crimes go unreported. Nigeria was ranked 16th among the countries most affected by Internet crime in the world in 2020, according to the FBI in its 2020 Internet crime report.

“These crimes come with associated costs to organisations. In 2021, the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police Force arrested a man for allegedly hacking into the server of a Nigerian bank to steal N1.87bn.”

Reacting to the increasing cyberattack advisory by the NCC, ICT expert and Senior Partner of e86 Limited, Olugbenga Odeyemi, said, “We’re witnessing more cyber-attacks and this is related to the growth we’re seeing in the area of technology.

“More businesses are coming online, operating remotely, and setting up technology infrastructures that were not desired a few years ago. It is that growth that is leading to more attacks and the sophistication of such attacks.”

Adding suggestions on the role of individuals, he stated, “Individuals should continue to educate themselves about cyber security.

“The attacks vary and are constantly changing, becoming more sophisticated. Be careful about the information you share online and be careful of the links you click on. If information is too good to be true, verify it by checking if the same information is available on popular news sites on the internet.

“CBN will not call you, your bank will not call you unless they want to invite you to the bank. The more an individual is informed, the more the person is capable of avoiding falling prey.”

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