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Cybersafe Foundation equips digitally vulnerable groups, SMEs to fight COVID-19 related scams

... Secures UK Government’s funding through the Prosperity Fund’s digital access programme

CyberSafe Foundation, a popular non-governmental organisation in Nigeria has revealed its plans to equip digitally vulnerable groups and 1500 SMEs with the knowledge and skills required to identify, protect, detect, defend and respond to COVID-19 instigated cyber threats, so as to enable a safe digital community.

The foundation which is on a mission to facilitate pockets of changes that ensure a safer internet for everyone with digital access and resident in Nigeria has secured funding from the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme.

Also, CyberSafe Foundation has secured support from KnowBe4 Africa, CyberSecurity Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), and other experts to ensure the program tagged ‘Safe Digital Community During COVID-19’ project is achieved.

“Without an iota of doubt, the COVID-19 global pandemic has created an atmosphere of chaos, confusion and fear, a perfect backdrop for malicious actors to carry out a range of attacks online. A particularly vulnerable group is the Small and Medium Size Businesses, many of whom do not have adequate technology, people, or processes in place to detect or defend against cyberattacks. This project will provide the much-needed free upskilling training for employees of beneficiary SMEs by cybersecurity experts,” Confidence Stavely, founder/executive director, CyberSafe Foundation, said.

Staveley further said that the volunteer faculty team consists of highly experienced and exceptional cybersecurity leaders based in Nigeria, United Kingdom, Canada, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Cayman Islands and South Africa.

“Beneficiary SMEs will cut across all parts of Nigeria and different business sectors, including underserved communities in the Northern part of the country and healthcare organisations”, she said.

“Learning will be delivered online as a combination of bi-weekly live training sessions and self-paced learning materials consumed via our learning management system. SMEs need to register on our website to be part of the free virtual training which will begin on the 9th of October 2020,” Stavely said.

The training is geared to help individuals and businesses identify and handle cybercriminals with COVID-19 themed attacks like; relief packages scams, impersonation of trusted organisations; resulting in theft of confidential information and money from unwary victims.

“We will leverage entertainment as a vehicle to propagate safe cyber hygiene best practices to millions of people resident in Nigeria,” she said.

According to Idongesit Udoh, UK Government’s head of digital access programme and country adviser, “The Safe Digital Community during COVID-19 Project is part of UK’s cyber risk mitigation support to Nigeria’s COVID-19 response. This project demonstrates the UK Government’s continued support for Nigeria and its digital sector, recognising the tech ecosystem’s role in inclusive growth and development.”

“We are excited about this project and the impact it will have in enhancing the safety of Nigeria’s digital space. It is also exciting that this project kickoff coincides with the 2020 London Tech Week, which showcases the UK as a global leader in tech,” he said.

Commenting on the program, Remi Afon, the president of Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria, said, considering that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant shift in tactics employed by cybercriminals, it has become pertinent to intensify cybersecurity awareness to ensure that individuals and businesses of all sizes can avoid falling prey to cybercriminals.

“In the wake of this reality and recognising the urgent need to address COVID-19 enabled cyber scams, the CyberSafe Foundation – CSEAN partnership aimed at delivering SDCDC-19 in Nigeria will go a long way in building the cybersecurity capacity and resilience of our target audience,” Afon said.

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