The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd) on Tuesday revealed that Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya collectively recorded over two million phishing attacks in the first half of 2021.
Monguno said that the report was based on a survey recently conducted by a Bucharest Based Kaspersky Laboratory in Romania.
He said this during the Sensitisation Workshop For The Implementation Of The National Cybersecurity Policy And Strategy 2021 For The Private Sector And Professional Bodies holding at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Monguno was represented by the Director of Communications, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Brig.-Gen. Samad Akesode.
According to the NSA, over 393 cases of these cyber attacks were attributed to Nigeria, representing 13 percent decline as compared to the same period in 2020.
“This calls for more proactive measures to protect our exponentially growing internet users in Nigeria.
“It also demonstrates the criticality of the private sector and the need to enhance our defence mechanism and collaborate towards securing our cyberspace for improved productivity and efficiency.
“The key enablers here can be said to be the development of home grown solutions, capacity building and more attention to research and development,” he said.
Monguno also said that a British security software and hardware company in their survey of 65 Nigerian companies, revealed that 86 percent of Nigerian companies fell prey to cyberattacks within the past year.
“This is second highest percentage recorded globally after India and much higher than in South Africa with 64 percent.
“This means that about 56 out of 65 companies fell prey to various forms of cyberattacks such as malware, ransomware and data leaks over the past year,” he said.
The NSA said that the increasing dependence on the cyberspace comes with vulnerabilities, risks and challenges that threatens national security, cyberspace operations and impact negatively on critical infrastructure.
“For Nigeria, the current drive to digitalisation has transformed businesses, social and economic wellbeing with a better service delivery, increase in turnovers as well as ease in communication and information sharing.
“In spite these gains, like several other countries across the globe, the growth and development of our cyberspace is accompanied by significant and inherent challenges.
“To this end, the private sector is not spared of the challenges the cyberspace presents due to the growing number of interconnected systems as a result of the geometric rise of internet users in Nigeria within the past years,” he said.
According to Monguno, it is therefore crucial to achieve a safe cyberspace for our economic prosperity, digital transformation of the economy and ultimately national objectives.
Also, the National President, Nigerian Association For Chamber Of Commerce, Industry, Mines And Agriculture (NACCIMA) Mr Ide Udeagbala lauded the initiative of the ONSA towards protecting the nation’s cyberspace.
Udeagbala was represented by Mr Lawrence Obetta, President, Aba Chamber Of Commerce, Industry, Mines And Agriculture (ACCIMA).
Udeagbala said that the implementation of the policy would promote a thriving and safe digital economy and digital ecosystem and fortify our cyber defence capability.
“As the voice of Nigerian business, NACCIMA is in support of the efforts of the federal government in curbing financial loss, data leak and reputational damage for the private sector and the country in general,” he said.