Avoiding Security Complexities
Many years ago, the firewall was everything. Defence-in depth was a concept defined as layered defence with multiple firewalls on the path.
Behind the firewall was a fortress. Organisations designed networks with strong perimeters and demilitarised zones to ensure the crown jewels were well-protected. Attackers had a difficult time trying to break into the firewalls.
On the physical layer, Network Admission Control (NAC) technologies were implemented to prevent intruders from having direct access into the network by preventing them from plugging unauthorised devices into the network. Before a device was admitted, it had to meet a minimum requirement defined by the organisation.
Those years are gone and maybe gone forever. Cloud computing, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), VPNs and Remote Working Capabilities have dramatically changed the way businesses run.
These technologies have introduced a level of innovation and disruption that were unimaginable only a few years ago. They have resulted in the collapse of the traditional network perimeter, thereby increasing the attack surface for cyber-attacks. Enterprise networks coverage is today being extended beyond our imagination – outside the traditional datacentres to smartphones, cloud platforms, mobile computers and IoT interfaces without geographical boundaries.
The bad guys now have a plethora of interfaces to launch their attacks on; they do not have to breach the network using traditional social engineering tactics physically.
The recent changes in the work environment occasioned by the COVID-19 have further amplified the extension of network boundaries beyond the traditional datacentres. Employees work from home with devices and connections into the enterprise networks that were not originally designed for such. Improvised connections were made to allow functionality because the pandemic came without announcement.
The danger this poses is that some of these end devices were not originally designed with security in mind. Even if security was a consideration, not so much for enterprise data protection. These devices are most of the time not hardened, and their owners may not understand the effects on the overall organisational security posture.
A handful of these devices are installed with default passwords, and most times, these passwords are not changed during or after installation.
So, it is easy to guess the password by manual methods or using advanced dictionary or brute force attack methods. Another risk posed by these endpoints is the lack of security updates and patches. Because they are sometimes not seen to be part of the enterprise network, they are not included in the patch management programme, and their presence introduces high-level vulnerabilities within the enterprise network.
It then becomes easier to utilise malware that could tunnel through the firewall to breach the enterprise network, instead of spending months and years trying to break into the firewall or layers of firewalls.
In recent years, large-scale attacks have been launched using malware by exploiting known vulnerabilities and security gaps on endpoints.
For example, the WannaCry, Petya and another variant of Petya, the NotPetya were employed to launch attacks on enterprise networks through vulnerable endpoints. Another danger with this trend is potential data leakage because these devices are used to either temporarily or permanently store organisational data.
There is also concern about device loss. If these devices are lost, there is a risk of exposing the organisation’s data to unauthorised entities, and that could both result in financial and reputational damage.
These dangers are also expanded by the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, where organisations made ad hoc improvisions to support businesses while employees work from home.
As commerce resumes, organisations are beginning to discover some capabilities to support their businesses remotely, and they are also rethinking their business continuity strategies.
For some businesses, this is not just a temporal shift, but a change which has permanently altered the operational procedures of the organisation.
Legacy cybersecurity strategies, techniques and investments will not be enough to mitigate the rising cybersecurity concerns introduced by this new way of working. Protection has gone beyond throwing in uncoordinated technical solutions and efforts.
Organisations need to rethink a new approach for the protection of their assets within the ever-growing complexity both to remain afloat and also to derive commensurate Returns On Security Investments (ROSI). A well-crafted strategy will ensure that cybersecurity efforts are coordinated within the enterprise, without duplication of efforts and resources, which will, in turn, drive down the cost of implementing cybersecurity initiatives.
To improve the security posture, organisations must do the following:
Continuously monitor the devices, applications, and processes running on the network.
Automate security monitoring and mitigation.
Implement systems that are capable of automatic detection, isolation and containment of threats within the network.
Ensure that monitoring covers event data, session data, and historical data on endpoint usages, such as past processes, network connections, and other information.
Another measure organisations should take is reducing complexities. The extension of the network boundaries has not stopped organisations from using existing network solutions to protect the enterprise network.
However, in a bid to ensure the protection of the on-premise infrastructure and the ones beyond the organisational traditional network boundaries, organisations combine existing technologies with new solutions and the resultant effect is an increase in complexity.
To effectively manage security, organisations should put measures in place to ensure a reduction in complexity and enhancing visibility. This can be achieved by unifying all efforts and technologies for managing both on-premise and off-premise infrastructure in a single platform. Beyond technical controls, organisations should develop procedures, standards, and policies for acceptable use of organisational resources.
For further information and engagements on the pcl. cyber security services, send an email to email@example.com
Osun to Access $618m Creative, Digital Fund
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Osun state government has moved to launch a support desk for tech innovators and entrepreneurs in the state to access the recently launched $618 million fund by the federal government and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Governor Ademola Adeleke, who directed the establishment of the fund, expressed the readiness of his government to tap into the opportunities in furtherance of the digital economy agenda of his administration.
The governor, whose position was recently affirmed by the Appeal Court, said his administration has created enabling environment for the Osun state tech ecosystem, citing the recent domestication of Nigeria’s Startup Act, the flag off of the state’s broadband fibre optic project, and the establishment of a Digital Advisory Board.
He said, “I am delighted to appreciate the African Development Bank, which has set up a $618 million fund to support the technology and creative sector in Nigeria. This is a great initiative spearheaded by Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, the Nigerian President of the African Development Bank, in partnership with our Federal Government, I would like to commend him for his visionary leadership and dedication to the development of our country.”
He added, “I am confident that this fund will go a long way in supporting innovation, job creation, and economic growth in our country.
“As the Governor of Osun State, I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology has been instructed to set up a desk to assist all technology and creative sector entrepreneurs in Osun State in applying and accessing this fund. The desk will provide comprehensive guidance and support to all interested applicants, ensuring that the application process is seamless and efficient.
“We are also exploring partnerships with the African Development Bank to support programs in the technology and creative sector in our state. We will be reaching out to the bank soon to discuss how we can collaborate and leverage this fund and other opportunities to create a vibrant and innovative ecosystem in Osun State.
“I commend the African Development Bank for domiciling the fund in the Bank of Industry to prevent it from being politicized. This is a great step towards ensuring that the fund is used for its intended purpose and will benefit the technology and creative sector in Nigeria.
“I encourage all technology and creative sector entrepreneurs in Osun State to engage directly with the Ministry and register as a stakeholder operating within the state. This is a significant opportunity for our entrepreneurs to grow their businesses while also contributing to the growth and development of our state”, he stated.
He called on residents to harness the potential of the technology and creative sector and create a vibrant and innovative ecosystem in Osun.
NIMASA, NCC Collaborate to Create Submarine Cable Regulation in Nigeria
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) are collaborating to develop a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for Submarine Cables and Pipeline Operators in Nigeria.
Submarine and cable operators in Nigeria have been notified of the soon-to-be-implemented regulatory guideline for submarine cables and pipelines in Nigeria, in line with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Speaking at a pre-audit meeting of both organs of government in Lagos on submarine cable regulation, the Director General of NIMASA, Mr Bashir Jamoh, noted that the agency was committed to the Ease of Doing Business while implementing International Conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated.
He noted that with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping.
According to him, “It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters. Our focus is to ensure the safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.”
“NIMASA is developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of UNCLOS; which we have ratified, and NIMASA will be the agency responsible for its implementation.
“We do not just implement laws; we consult. Where the responsibility of an Agency stops, that is where the responsibilities of another agency start. Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country, and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this,” he said.
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Mr Umar Garba Danbatta, who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Mr Efosa Idehen, noted that the stakeholders’ dialogue strategy adopted by NIMASA in developing the guidelines would ensure a win-win situation urging NIMASA management to include the Ministry of Justice, a request NIMASA DG immediately granted.
Also speaking at the meeting was the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Mr Dasuki Arabi, who commended NIMASA and NCC for adopting effective Inter-Agency collaboration to avert a potential challenge for the country in the future.
NIMASA and the NCC also agreed to identify and resolve areas of likely regulatory overlaps, ensuring a regulatory framework based on consultation to engender the attainment of Nigeria’s digital economy transformation.
How Data Protection Policy In Nigeria Is Evolving To Secure Customers
By Otori Emmanuel
Technology advancement has increased the value of data, and many businesses are willing to invest in it. These data are obtained from customers directly or indirectly. When data is directly gathered, customers are often asked for their consent, and they typically provide it. In contrast, information that is gained inadvertently may be gathered through tracking or linkages to sources that already have the consumers’ data. Businesses use this strategy to improve their products and for research purposes.
To prevent unauthorized access, disclosure, or misuse of user’s personal information, data privacy and data protection policies are in effect. The right of people to decide how their personal information is gathered, utilized, and shared is referred to as data privacy. It involves making sure that people are informed about the information being collected on them, how it is being used, and with whom it is shared. Data protection policies, on the other hand, are protocols set up to safeguard private data against exploitation or unauthorized access. They require putting technical and organizational mechanisms in place to safeguard the privacy, usability, and authenticity of user data and also to prevent its loss, destruction, or alteration.
Data protection policies usually include instructions for the collection, processing, storage, and disposal of data. They also include safeguards for personal data security, such as encryption, access restrictions, and regular backups. Data privacy and protection regulations are crucial in the contemporary digital age, as personal data is captured, processed, and exchanged more frequently than at any time before.
User Data Protection in Nigeria
The Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was decreed in 2019 with the aim to ensure that individuals have control over their personal data and that it is processed fairly and legally. The NDPR mandates that businesses processing personal data get the individual’s consent before processing their information. Additionally, they must take the necessary security precautions to safeguard personal data against theft, loss, and unauthorized access.
Nigeria has established the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in addition to the NDPR to handle issues with data privacy and cybersecurity. The NITDA is in charge of enforcing the NDPR and ensuring that businesses abide by the data protection laws. Moreover, the NITDA has created frameworks and recommendations to offer firms advice on how to put in place reliable cybersecurity and data protection buffers. These rules address subjects like privacy notices, effect analyses of data protection, and breach reporting.
In accordance with the NDPR, businesses must acquire consent from people before collecting their personal data and have strong security measures in place to safeguard it. Businesses must appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) as part of the NDPR, who is responsible for ensuring that the law is upheld. Other laws in Nigeria, in addition to the NDPR, that deal with data protection are the Freedom of Information Act of 2011 and the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act of 2015. These laws strengthen the protection of personal information while also outlining the consequences of data protection laws infractions.
With a focus on safeguarding customer personal information and ensuring that businesses are held accountable for any violations by these laws, Nigeria’s data protection regulations are continuously improving.
Latest News on Business Post
- OPEC+ Likely to Keep Output Cut Levels as Group Meets April 3 March 31, 2023
- Oando to Quit Nigerian, Johannesburg Stock Exchanges March 31, 2023
- Ajay Banga to Become World Bank President Unopposed March 31, 2023
- Westman Recycle Wins Rite Foods-Sponsored CEIP Recycling Pitch March 31, 2023
- Stanbic IBTC Processes First Inbound Commercial Transaction on PAPSS March 31, 2023
- Enrol in Micro Pension to Escape Old Age Poverty—PenCom Tells Traders, Others March 31, 2023
- Africa’s Impact: United States Vice President Kamala Harris Visits Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia March 31, 2023
- Parallex Bank Gets $10m to Finance Cross-Border Trades of SMEs March 31, 2023
- Geo-Fluids, IGI Lift Unlisted Securities Market by 0.09% March 31, 2023
- Price-Sensitive Information Spurs Stock Exchange’s Fresh 1.51% Growth March 31, 2023