Education, self-awareness critical to curb cyber attacks

Business leaders in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector have called for more education and self-awareness to curb the rising spate of cyberattacks.

Udochi Igbokwe, CEO, Chime Group, who was speaking at the ongoing Africa Business Convention, emphasised the need to educate people through personal experiences and lessons from cyberattacks.

“Africans needs education and there is no shame to admit we have been scammed. The more we educate people about cybersecurity with our lessons, the more it gets so simple. Let’s be hypervigilant about who we talk to, let’s educate and let them know about it,” she said.

Igbokwe said conferences like the African Business Convention will also go a long way to promote cybersecurity as business leaders go away with new solutions from panel discussions and implement them in their respective organisations.

She said, “54 percent of businesses in Nigeria don’t have cybersecurity plans. As e-commerce continues to grow, you have no choice but to give out data, but contents like this organised by BusinessDay will help in getting information and taking back to your organisations to implement it. Thereby helping to curb cyberattacks in the country and continent at large.”

Krish Ranganath, regional executive, West Africa, Africa Data Centre, stated that self consciousness is the first step to prevent cyberattacks.

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According to him, “Cyber attacks are the negative side of technological advancement. There is no free money in the world. We must be conscious of what we do in terms of opening and responding to mails optioning to pay money. As a growing economy and continent, most of these problems are expected.”

The Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) estimated that $600 million is lost to cybercrime each year, an increase from a 2014 study that puts global losses at about $445 billion.

In Africa, the cases of cybercrime recorded a massive rise in the first six months of 2022, with phishing and scams hitting 438 percent and 174 percent in Kenya and Nigeria respectively.

Oluwatobi Olaniyan, Senior Manager, IT security Operation, IHS towers said the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic increased digital adoption and also increased the level of cyberattacks.

“Everybody was forced to undergo the rapid digital innovation as the COVID 19 started, giving rise to cyber attacks. So opportunities came across from rapid digitisation. There were a whole lot of opportunities for scammers and that is why big data is very important but must also be protected”

” We are in the business of building telecom infrastructure, sometimes if there is an issue with telecommunication, it will lead to lack of communication which is very risk.

“That’s why we are mainly focused on cybersecurity because hackers leverage these opportunities to attack. During endsars, most organisations were attacked. We have always taken cyber security very important, deploying the right infrastructure and solutions to curb cyber attacks. We cannot overemphasize the need for education too,” Olaniyan said.

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