By Emma Okonji
Experts at NaijaSecCon have cited research from Cybersecurity Ventures which projects cybercrime would reach $6 trillion by 2021,Â up from $3 trillion in 2015.
This was disclosed at the recently held second edition of NaijaSecCon cybersecurity conference in Lagos.
At the conference, it was also estimated that about 60 per cent of Nigerian companies suffered some forms of cyberattack during the year 2017, many of which were under-reported for reasons ranging from lack of knowledge of such happenings, apathy, fear of losing customers, and job insecurity, among others.
The one-day conference had over 200 attendees that witnessed the ethical hacking competition with 60 participants comprising of ten teams of six members each.
Speakers were unanimous in their views that lack of education on technical aspects of information security could hurt the economy in the nearest future.
Participants at the conference were exposed to discussions around malware analyses, cryptocurrency mining, USB forensics, digital forensics capabilities, programming and different topics around security.
Founder of Inspaya, Muzudeen Kusimo, said there was a level of education required from those that would be making cybersecurity policies in Nigeria.
According to him, â€œThis is necessary so that the policies they are making are right and effective. It is good to make policies but if they do not meet the realities on the ground, then the policies become ineffective. For you to apply these policies effectively, it means you have the right context and that is education. So there is a huge gap in terms of awareness.â€
â€œWe have been having significant conversations with stakeholders both in Nigeria and the Diaspora about the needs to alter the curriculum to reflect the current realities in the cyberspace. And some of the ways to do that is to work with the universities and educationists in making sure that we introduce some of these courses. In the long run, this is going to form the core of the knowledge for cybersecurity.â€
â€œThe goal is that after you finish the regular two or four years programme from the higher institutions, students will have some level of awareness that would take them to the next level. From there, they get actively involved in cybersecurity activities.â€
Coming from the United States to be part of NaijaSecCon 2018 conference, Charles Nwatu, said he discovered there were lots of talents to be harnessed in Nigeria to assist the government and corporate organisations wall off cyber traitors.
Nwatu said: â€œThere is a lot of talent; I have seen the skills set developed. There is an issue of how to capture that talent and refine it. Structure, maturity and development, all those components are part of the experience. As we continue to have more students come into the program to gain more experience doing the actual work within businesses and companies. Then the maturity changes over time.
â€œThe talent is there. We need more education and refining these talents to understand the rules of engagement when it comes to cybersecurity practices. We want to ensure that we operate effectively in the cybersecurity space and not to put anyone in jeopardy.â€
He further called for the right policies to be put in place to assist the industry grow better.