By Emma Okonji
The federal government has warned against the use of pirated software by Nigerians, and listed the associated dangers in such devices.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, said this while delivering a keynote address at the recent Annual Cyber Security Conference organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Abuja.
Pantami, however said government would continue to show commitment in strengthening cybersecurity in the country.
According to the minister, the volume of money being lost to cyber criminals globally explained the government’s commitment to securing the country’s national telecommunications infrastructure through necessary technical, legal and policy initiatives.
He affirmed that the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) unveiled by President Buhari last November was aimed at deepening access to digital services for a more efficiently and effectively run the economy.
Accordingly, the minister, the sixth of the eight pillars of the NDEPS thematically focused on ‘Soft Infrastructure, conceptualised to improve the cyber security architecture in the country.
“So, as we deepen access to digital services in the country, I have to say that people need to know that once they are online, they are exposed to risks.
“For instance, just opening an email that you are not sure of the sender exposes your system and data to risks. Also, using pirated software should be avoided and we must update our software regularly to avoid being target of cyber criminals,” Pantami said.
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the maiden annual cyber security summit was in recognition of the importance and centrality of collaborative efforts in the advancement of cybersecurity measures to provide precautions and protection of critical communications infrastructure.
According to Danbatta, “The event is designed to provide a platform for discussion on developing a joint coordination for incidence response for the communication industry, introducing cyber insurance, bridging the cyber workforce gap, strengthening national cooperation, exchange of information, and development of comprehensive strategies that will address the cyber security challenges confronting the communications industry in Nigeria.”
Danbatta, stated that in addressing cybercrimes and boosting cyber security, technical measures and appropriate legal instruments must be put in place to enhance the resilience and integrity of ICT infrastructure and also to safeguard our activities in the cyberspace.
While restating the Commission’s efforts towards ensuring that the internet is safe to use, Danbatta emphasised the role of education to mitigate the negative impacts of cybercrime.
The EVC highlighted the measures being taken by the Commission to include: Collaboration with relevant stakeholders to embark on a nationwide cyber security awareness; Establishmet of a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team (CSIRT) Centre; Collaboration with relevant security agencies in the development of the National Cyber Security Policy; Development of Technical Framework for the Use of Social Media Network in Nigeria, among others.
Danbatta also informed the audience at the conference that the Commission would soon commence a multi-stakeholder process for the development of an Industry Wide Obligation of Minimum Cyber Security Provisions, which will apply to all operators.