Nigeria Has Only 3,500 Cyber Security Experts—Report

**As Telcos, Financial Firms, Govt Agencies Lose N288bn to Cyber Frauds

By Adedapo Adesanya

A report by the Africa Cyber Security Report on Nigeria has revealed that various entities and individuals collectively lost a total of $800 million (N288 billion) to cyber-attacks in 2018.

According to the report, which was unveiled Monday in Lagos, financial services companies, government institutions, telecommunication firms and financial technology companies operating in Nigeria, among others were the major victims of various Internet criminal activities.

This figure showed an increase of 27 percent in cyber crimes trend in 2018, compared with $649 million lost in the previous year in 2017.

The report was launched by Demadiur Systems Limited at a Nigeria Cyber Security Summit in Lagos on Monday which focused on the theme “Combating the Global E-fraud.”

Highlight of the report indicated that in Nigeria, during the period under review, had just 3,500 skilled cyber security professionals and this amounted to a shortage of necessary skilled force at senior management and mid management levels.

The report also showed that 70 percent of companies in the country are going to face talent shortage of cyber security professional in 2019 and beyond as the human resources arms of these companies face the constraints of lack of technical experience and lack of certifications in cyber security on the part of those they intend to employ.

The report also revealed that organizational spending in cyber security increased by 17 percent from 2017 as respondents spent above $500 million dollars in 2018.

While presenting the report at the cyber security summit, President, Demadiur Systems Limited and President, Medallion Communications Limited, Mr Ikechukwu Nnamani, noted that the money spent by most of the companies were for corrective measures and not for preventing attacks.

According to him, “Most of the companies did not take security serious until after they are hit. Then, they start taking remedial actions with fire-brigade approach, and when vendors show up to arrest the situation, they charge them huge sum.”

Meanwhile, the report further shows that there was a 21.3 percent increase in the number of reported cyber-crime incidents to the police in 2018, noting however that only 2.6 percent of such cases led to successful prosecution of culprits.

According to Mr Nnamani, despite the increase, the reported cases were still small given that there was a large amount of cyber security perpetrators in the country.

He noted that findings by the report hinged victims’ apathy to report cyber-attacks on factors such as feeling of shame, especially by financial institutions, lack of confidence in the judicial system, ignorance, greed which automatically makes the victim guilty of his own action, lacking trust in the forensic investigation system in the country, among others.

The 2018 report also showed that during the year, locally engineered malwares were on the rise, fraud through mobile platforms multiplies and targeted phishing attacks took to the high side.

Since most companies can now see the handwriting on the wall that the cyber-attacks on their operations are not ready to subside anytime soon, they recorded about 50 per cent increase in involvement of their board members on matters of cyber security.

Mr Nnamani said, “To ensure that the result of our survey and research provide a nationwide representation of the state of the cyber security, we interviewed several people within Nigeria, who numbered 300.

“The respondents included those in legal advisory, government, financial services, telecommunications, banking, manufacturing, healthcare services, cyber security, insurance and academia, all represented at randomly varying percentages,” he noted.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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