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Information Security Threat - FG Tasked On Cybercrime Prevention
Source: All Africa.com
Source Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Internet Governance
Country: Nigeria
Created: Nov 21, 2011

The Federal Government has been challenged to address the rising rate of cybercrime in the country, especially in the area of information security breaches. The challenge was issued at the fifth Public Sector ICT Infrastructure Forum on Information Security organised by Galaxy Backbone, which took place in Abuja on Monday. According to the forum, the year 2011 recorded the highest rate of cyber attacks, with government institutions as targets of professional hackers. The forum maintained that hackers successfully hacked and defaced websites of government agencies this year, and called on government to strengthen Information Security Systems in the country. Addressing a breakout technical session at the forum, which comprised of selected panellists with background in Information Technology (IT), Chief Executive Officer of Digital Jewels, Mrs. Adedoyin Odunfa, attributed the rise in cybercrime to the sudden increase among internet users in the country. According to her, in March 2011, Nigeria surpassed other African nations in the growth of internet usage, thus hitting 44 million users. The increase in the number of internet users also increased cybercrime rate in the country. She said Nigeria must rise up to the challenge, if the country must attain Vision 20:2020. She also listed some factors giving rise to cybercrime to include religious fundamentals, flood, malware, culture, fraud, weak infrastructure, but insisted that government and Nigerians must collectively build a culture of security among its citizenry. Odunfa decried a situation where people handle vital information with laxity "because Nigeria has no cybercrime law and there are no information policies to guide people on the proper handling of sensitive information". To build a real culture of security among Nigerians, Odunfa suggested that government must develop its technology, processes and people. The three factors are crucial strategies to address information security issues in the country, she said. She also called for increased training of people on information security, expansion of educational contents, increased awareness and the adoption of best practice standards in improving information security in the country. Also speaking at the technical session, Managing Director of Internet Xchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Mr. Mohammed Rudman, called on Nigerians and government agencies to keep online information confidential by registering their domain name with local webmasters, through Galaxy Backbone, the accredited registrar of dot ng dot org domain name registration. Relevant Links West Africa Nigeria Legal Affairs ICT He commended Galaxy Backbone for attaining the ISO/IEC 27001: 2005 certification, which he said, would further strengthen its provision of internet services and connectivity to all government agencies and ministries. Special Assistant to the Oyo State Governor on ICT, Mr. Tayo Koleosho, who was part of the panel, said the level of cyber attacks have shifted to the public sector, and called on government to come up with practicable strategies that would address the new trend. Chief Information Security Officer of Galaxy Backbone, Mr. Opeyemi Onifade, said proper information process was key for Nigeria to take its proper position in the digital world. He called on Galaxy Backbone to intensify efforts in information monitoring, and to come up with cyber security strategies that would be accessible to all Nigerians.
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