Foundation Secures UK’s Funding to Support Vulnerable Groups, SMEs


By Emma Okonji

CyberSafe Foundation, a non-governmental organisation in the information security domain has secured funding from the United Kingdom (UK) Government’s Digital Access Programme.

In addition, CyberSafe Foundation has secured support from KnowBe4 Africa, CyberSecurity Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), and other experts to ensure the program tagged ‘Safe Digital Community During COVID-19’ project is achieved.

The foundation has therefore, unveiled plans to equip digitally vulnerable groups and 1,500 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with the knowledge and skills required to identify, protect, detect, defend and respond to COVID-19 instigated cyber threats, that will enable a safe digital community.

Founder/Executive Director, CyberSafe Foundation, Confidence Staveley, who disclosed this recently, said: “Without an iota of doubt, the COVID-19 global pandemic has created an atmosphere of chaos, confusion and fear, a perfect backdrop for malicious actors to carry out a range of attack types.

“A particularly vulnerable group is the small and medium size businesses, many of whom do not have technology, people, or processes in place to detect or defend against cyberattacks. This project will provide the much-needed free up-skilling training for employees of beneficiary SMEs by cybersecurity experts.”
Staveley further said the volunteer faculty team consists of highly experienced and exceptional cybersecurity leaders based in Nigeria, United Kingdom, Canada, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Cayman Islands and South Africa.

“Beneficiary SMEs will cut across all parts of Nigeria and business sectors, including underserved communities in the Northern part of the country and Healthcare organizations,” she said.

She said; “Learning will be delivered online as a combination of bi-weekly live training sessions and self-paced learning materials consumed via our learning management system. SMEs will register to be part of the free virtual training which begins 9th October 2020.

“Individuals are also targeted by cybercriminals with COVID-19 themed attacks like; relief packages scams, impersonation of trusted organizations; resulting in theft of confidential information and money from unwary victims.

“As we continue to work tirelessly to improve cyber safety in Nigeria, especially for the most vulnerable in our society, this program presents a means to reduce the success rate of cyberattacks by raising mass awareness of COVID-19 themed cyber threats. We will leverage entertainment as a vehicle to propagate safe cyber hygiene best practices to millions of people resident in Nigeria,” she said.

UK Government’s Head of Digital Access Programme and Country Adviser, Idongesit Udoh, said: “The Safe Digital Community During COVID-19 Project is part of UK’s cyber risk mitigation support to Nigeria’s COVID-19 response. This project demonstrates the UK government’s continued support for Nigeria and its digital sector, recognising the tech ecosystem’s role in inclusive growth and development.”

According to Udoh, “We are excited about this project and the impact it will have in enhancing the safety of Nigeria’s digital space. It is also exciting that this project kickoff coincides with the 2020 London Tech Week, which showcases the UK as a global leader in tech.”