Oracle: Nigerian Banks, Others Lose N127bn Annually to Cybercrime

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Chineme Okafor in Abuja

Financial institutions and other firms dealing with finances in Nigeria lose up to N127 billion every year to hackers on the cyber space, multinational computer technology corporation, Oracle Nigeria has said.

The firm also stated that while this happened, banks in the country kept quiet to it, pretending they never did. It warned that cyber fraud has become a real threat to Nigeria and would need to be tackled with good cyber security measures. It equally noted that the country’s cyberspace was one of those that were recently hacked into for data by hackers from North Korea.

Speaking recently when it inaugurated its Abuja office, the Managing Director of Oracle Nigeria, Mr. Adebayo Sanni, stated that a recent report on the level of hacking done on organisations across the world indicated that two-third of the world’s organisations are frequently hacked without their knowledge.

Sanni, who spoke alongside two of Oracle’s top management team – Shane Fernandes, leader, Oracle systems in West and East Africa, and Cherian Varghese, Vice President and Managing Director, Oracle Africa, explained that Nigeria would have to step up its adoption and management of technology to enable its segue into world’s top 20 economies.

“This is really very critical. The opportunity for Nigeria to be one of the largest 20 economies in the world is inevitable, but to get there, we need to ensure that we drive digital revolution which means that first we need to move and improve on how we are adapting technology. We need to improve on our efficiency and to become a paperless economy,” said Sanni.

He further stated: “If you look at what is going on in organisations today, there is a study that was done that said two-third of organisations get hacked and they are not even aware that this happened.

“We have seen the threat from North Korea where the leader put together a number of hackers called Lazarus and what they did was to actually attack several targeted countries and Nigeria was part of that, a lot of banks lost millions of dollars in the process, they kept quiet but this happened.

“What this means from the Nigerian perspective is that we are facing cyber fraud on a regular basis whether the banks agree with this or not, this is what it means. What Nigeria loses on a yearly basis is N127 billion to cyber fraud and you can imagine the threat which is actually real.”

Sanni equally noted that Oracle was working with governments across the country to improve their efficiency levels and cut down wastages in public sector expenditure. He said through this, Nigeria could grow its services sector to begin to contribute hugely to her Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Oracle as a company can become a partner to the government in this journey, this didn’t start now but started with the commitment from the presidency that the country would truly run a transparent and accountable government. Once that is a priority, every other thing to enable that is where technology comes in and we already doing a lot with the government on this,” he added.

He similarly said the company was in conversation with the Nigeria security services to read, decode and identify real security threats from terrorists.

Speaking in the same vein, Fernandes stated that cybercrime had outpaced other known global criminal acts put together. He said: “Cybercrime is by far the largest in terms of criminal activities in the world. It is bigger than the stolen phones, credit card, and drug crimes put together.”

Varghese, on his part said Oracle’s opening of the Abuja office was to underscore its commitment to Nigeria and supporting the government’s transparent management of its plans for the public sector.