At The Guardian’s forum, experts seek stricter measures against cybercrime

News | Nigeria
source: The Guardian
By Adeyemi Adepetun | 24 February 2017 | 4:25 am

Former Editor/member, Editorial Board, The Guardian, Martins Oloja (left); Executive Director, Toke Ibru; Chief Executive, Makeway International, United Kingdom, Kola Olutimehin; Chairman, Editorial Board, The Guardian, Prof. Wale Omole; Publisher, The Guardian, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru; Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Olufemi Odubiyi; Special Adviser to Acting President on ICT, Lanre Osibona; founder/Chief Executive, Demadium System Limited, Ikechukwu Nnamani and Senior Partner, Lockwire Security, United Kingdom, Anthony Maxwell at the first Annual Cyber Security Conference 2017 in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
• Menace rises by 38%, costs $550m in Nigeria
• Osinbajo commends newspaper’s initiative
To curtail cybercrime in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, experts have canvassed a stricter and multi- pronged approach.
The cost of cybercrime which rose globally by 38 per cent in 2016, has been estimated to have hit $550 million in Nigeria.

Cybercrime is fast-growing as more and more criminals exploit the speed, convenience and anonymity of the Internet.

At the maiden edition of the cyber security conference in Lagos with the theme “Monitoring, Detection and Prevention: Keys to Organisational Growth” organised by The Guardian, the experts called for better monitoring strategies that will help check the crime.

In his goodwill message, the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, said while government was keen on enthroning a digital economy, avenues that would give room to cybercriminals must be blocked thoroughly.
While commending The Guardian for pioneering an initiative such as the cybercrime conference, Osinbajo said that government would enthrone the right environment that is secure for businesses to thrive, especially as it relates to ICT development in the areas of cloud computing, smart cities and cyber security, among others.

Represented by his Senior Special Adviser on ICT, Lanre Osibona, the Acting President disclosed that a 31-member Cybercrime Advisory Council had been inaugurated and would work closely with the private sector to curb the menace. He noted that the challenges of cybercrime globally are high, “so as a nation, we must work hard to defeat it. More work needs to be done and government must work with the private sector.”

In his goodwill message, the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, described cybercrime as a global phenomenon which poses a potent threat to national security, organisational survival and corporate growth, among others.

According to Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Olufemi Odubiyi, ICT has been one of the defining moments of the 20th century, which have resulted in a paradigm shift in the way things used to be done.

“The benefits that have continued to accrue to humanity with the advent of ICT cannot be quantified, while the issues of cyber fraud, hacking, among others cannot be completely wiped out. The challenges, which I believe, are the reasons for this conference, would continuously lead to the development of strategies that would prevent unauthorised access to vital or critical information and other resources.”

In her opening address, the Publisher of The Guardian, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, while appreciating the participants, defined a cybercrime as one in which computer is the object of the crime or is used as a tool to commit an offence. She stressed that offenders may use computer technology to access personal or commercial information, or use the Internet for exploitive or malicious purposes.

According to her, Nigeria has shown a growing awareness of the need to strengthen cyber security, which includes initiating the registration of GSM users in 2011 and 2014 and the Central Bank of Nigeria launching a centralised biometric identification system for the banking industry, tagged Bank Verification Number (BVN).

The publisher reminded the audience that the Cybercrimes Act 2015 was the first legislation in Nigeria that deals specifically with cyber security, which was passed in May 2015 and gives effect to the 2011 ECOWAS Directive on fighting cybercrime.

She described the Cybercrime Act 2015 as a landmark legislation, representing the country’s first foray into legislating on cyber security, “however, it must be seen as a first step that must be built into an institution.”

According to her, the remedy to many of these problems lies in the implementation of the Act, “the bodies charged with this—the NSA, the AGF and the Council, must make efforts to enforce the Act in a way that doesn’t create unnecessary hinderance to business activities.”

Presenting the Nigeria Cyber Security Report 2016, the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of Demadiur Systems Limited, Ikechukwu Nnamani, said while the total cost of cybercrime in Africa hit $2 billion in 2016, Nigeria had the highest with $550 million, followed by Kenya $175 million; Tanzania $85 million; Ghana $50 million; and Uganda $35 million.

Senior Partner, Lockwire Security, East Midlands, UK, Anthony Maxwell, said 18 million new samples of malware were detected in 2016, amounting to 50,000 per day.

He put the average cost of data breach in 2016 at $4 million, with the number of incidents increasing by 38 per cent higher than 2015 in which most cybercrimes were not detected until afterwards.

To the CEO, Makeway International, UK, Kola Olutimehin, there is the need for more awareness, especially in the area of education, on the fight against cybercrimes.

Olutimehin stressed the need to have a structure in place in the fight against cybercriminals, stressing that most times assets are at risk.
Representing the Director, Payment System, CBN, Dipo Fatokun, the Deputy Director in the department, Musa Itopa Jimoh, said the apex bank had directed all financial institutions to establish fraud desks to provide avenues for industry response against fraud.

He revealed that the CBN fraud index showed that there had been reduction in fraud across the counter by 35 per cent, and over the ATM by 33 per cent.

His a life lived with purpose and integrity which surely may not come with the trappings of fame and fortune, but the number of people whose lives have been positively molded by this exemplary living is enough to place him among men of value in Nigeria whose achievements cannot be ignored.
For those not aware of how Chidi Umeano, Principal Consultant, Codub Group has gradually made his name an endorsement of value, a brief insight into his life journey may still be necessary. A graduate of the University of Nigeria and Brunel university United Kingdom, he had worked with different world class organizations across continents before his patriotic desire to contribute to nation-building brought him back to Nigeria where he set up Codub Group, and the experienced engineer, information management and business analyst has expectedly made the Codub one of the firms of repute in Nigeria today.

Asked about his guiding philosophies, he replied “Honesty is on key principle for me and this is reflected in one of our organization’s motto “Service Delivery Through Honesty and Transparent Partnership With Our clients. Another is trust in God and making sure I do not disappoint those that trust in me”.

Apart from the inspiration he gets from the life of Jesus, the astute professional at different period of his life had been influenced by Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, a catholic priest, Prof Savvas Tassou of the Brunel University, Martin Luther King Jr, and his parents.

An Amiable man with disciplined character, Umeano is one those who believe that parent have failed in their responsibility of raising character conscious children in Nigeria. Hear him: “Firstly, as parents we have failed our children and also failed the next two generations after us by placing more focus on materialism over ethics and values. Thus, our priorities are misplaced and when they are misplaced, then we lose focus.

Secondly, the media has contributed immensely to the decay in ethics and values as more and more focus seems to be on the celebrity culture. That is why this bold drive by the Guardian Newspaper to change the mind set of youths is a laudable initiative. Well done.”

Explaining what informed his decision to set up Codub group and the firm has fared over the years, he said: “Driving down cost, cost and cost. At Codub, we use Technology to Reduce Costs, Improve Efficiency and Increase Revenue. Over the years, Codub has been assisting organizations in determining what they own (Asset Register), the condition of their assets (Condition Register) and the maintenance required (Maintenance Standards). We provide solutions (software and consultancy) for the management of the life span of physical assets including costs, environmental impact and asset replacement”.

“We have also assisted organizations in moving towards industry best practice process delivery with the use of cutting edge and adaptive software technologies including SAP, IBM Maximo, FSI Concept CAFM and Maintenance Connection CMMS and Codub Training has provided capacity development solutions for all levels of people in both the public and private sectors.

Our turnkey summits in Nigeria called Infrastructure Asset Management Summit and the Asset and Waste Management workshops are helping to change the mind of set of many Nigerians towards reviving and adopting proper maintenance culture in order to drive down operating costs of the public and private sectors.”

Sharing his vision for Codub, he said: “Our vision is to be the preferred consulting form for Asset Management and CMMS Projects in West Africa and to retain every client for life and turn them into a raving fan. Our Mission is to use the largest technology to assist organizations develop a robust strategy for Asset & facilities Management”.