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NITDA Begins Nationwide Cybersecurity Awareness Workshops

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National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has announced that it has kick-started this year’s nationwide cybersecurity awareness workshops, according to a statement weekend.

 

 

The release signed by Director General of NITDA, Mr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami,  added that the sensitization events are part of the Agency’s continuous efforts aimed at equipping citizens with foundational knowledge as well as share best practices on staying safe in cyberspace.

 

There has been a tremendous increase in the number of incidences where Nigerians have lost money and data through vulnerabilities arising from lack of knowledge on how to manage their online presence and personal details.  The cybercriminals use social engineering, phishing mails, and probably specific to Nigeria, the use of text messages pretending to be sent from banks, requesting for PIN or revalidation of BVN numbers.  To the unaware, such are the sources where vital information needed for making unauthorized withdrawals from victims’ bank accounts occur. A more worrisome and recent trend is the SIM Swap cases, where the victim’s SIM card is swapped; an operation that makes the victim’s phone inaccessible while funds are transferred.

 

Knowing that everyone that uses ICT devices is vulnerable, these workshops target executives of registered associations and groups (translated into the most predominant language of the zone), with the ultimate aim to reach their members. We have also deployed effective conventional channels and social media in conveying the stay-safe message.  The workshops use presentations and interactive demonstration of trending concepts like SMS, SIM swap, malware, phishing, social engineering and its manifestations, to disseminate the stay-safe tips.

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Cybersecurity has attracted the attention of governments, enterprises, groups and individuals owing to the myriads of potentials for business growth, damage and national security and sovereignty.  To nations, the negatives could cripple a nation’s economy should critical infrastructure be affected. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has evaluated nations in the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), placing Nigeria on number 14.  These programmes are also aimed at improving the county’s standing on GCI.

 

NITDA has planned effective capacity building programmes that will culminate in organizational and individual certifications, while using Research and Development (R&D) results to feed these enlightenment programmes and aid relevant Agencies and Corporates in permanent mitigation strategy.  It has also utilized interagency collaborations for improved legal and institutional framework for a holistic improvement in the cybersecurity resilience of and profile of the country.

 

The first phase of the series of Workshop was held in Katsina, Katsina State for the North West Zone on Thursday 29th March, 2018 and attracted participants from Government Agencies, Military and Paramilitary organisations, the Academia, registered cooperatives and associations and the private sector from the states of the zone. The second phase has been concluded on Thursday 19thApril, 2018 at Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, for the South South Zone with participation from all states of the zone. Dates and venues for subsequent Workshops will be made public in due course.

 

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is an Agency of the Federal Government. The Agency was created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and co-ordinate general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically, Section 6(a, c&j) of the Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria;  and render advisory services in all information technology matters to the public and private sectors including introducing appropriate information technology legislations and ways of enhancing national security and the vibrancy of the industry.

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