Halogen Security Cautions FG on Smart Mobility Drive Risks
By Dipo Olowookere
A renowned security outfit in Nigeria, Halogen Security, has cautioned Federal Government on the potential pitfalls that lie ahead of its plans to drive Nigeria’s transportation sector into a smart mobility system.
Managing Director of Halogen Security, Mr Wale Olaoye, warned that before going smart, the security of our cyber space must be considered from the initial planning phase or the system would be left vulnerable to attacks.
This warning follows submission of Chairman, Senate Committee on Transport Chairman, Mr Gbenga Ashafa, earlier this week that the yet to be passed National Transport Commission Bill will lay the foundation for an integrated, multi-modal and smart transport sector in the country.
While commending the Senate’s desire to see Nigeria move towards intelligent integrated transport systems and intelligent traffic management among others, Mr Olaoye said, “With the innumerable advances in technology and the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), the ‘smart city’ concept is catching on all over the world, with more than 26 cities expected to become smart by 2025. This is why it is brilliant that Nigeria is also thinking along this line.
“The advantages of going smart are endless as advanced technology can manage traffic flows for vehicular routes.
“GPS and traffic management software can also be used to create a response plan to get emergency services to the scene of an accident faster by turning the appropriate traffic lights green as the responder approaches.
“But despite the clear advantages, connecting any system, asset or device to the internet introduces inherent risks, including data breaches, disruption of infrastructure and threats to public safety.
“These risks are further amplified when the connections span entire cities and if there is no clear and comprehensive security strategy in place, Nigerians could be left vulnerable to these breaches and the government would be liable for the cost of recovering from such, even if accidental.”
Mr Olaoye said it was unfortunate that most times when ‘smart’ initiatives are being executed; cyber security is often overlooked in both its development and deployment phases.
“In the excitement of going smart, we tend to forget that integrating digitally connected systems into national infrastructure creates new pathways for enemies to exploit.
“Apart from the possibility of intentional breaches, the risk of human error is also real, as public workers are typically not experienced with the sometimes complex technology,” he added.
The Halogen boss noted that developing a risk-based strategic plan from the onset is an important part of establishing the overall cyber security strategy. He also said that training the public on best practices and situational awareness is fundamentally important in making smart mobility safe for Nigerians.
“For the benefits of smart mobility to be meaningful, the risks and threats must be addressed through having a well thought out cyber security strategy and with the collaboration of both the private and public sectors.
“With these in place, Nigeria can mitigate potential risks and challenges whilst the nation reaps the benefits of going smart. All we need do is to be smart as we put smart technology to use,” Mr Olaoye submitted.