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Nigeria: Watch out 14 Cyber Threats Predictions in 2020

Ayano Ayomide

Over the months, there have been reported cases of cyber threats and bullying, as well as social media fraud.

 In view of this, cyber security experts under the umbrella of the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) have warned that Nigerians will face more cyberthreats through money transfer fraud, identity theft and romance scams, among others.

In a statement, the President, CSEAN, Mr Remi Afon, noted that every device connected to the Internet presented a new target for attackers and each new social media post created new risks for social engineering.

According to him, cybersecurity would continue to gain traction globally this year and should be at the top of the mind of the Nigerian government, individuals and top executives of organisations.

Afon noted that Nigeria and the world at large will be faced with the combination of the old and new cyber threats, emanating from emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things IoT, Cloud Technology and Smart Phones, which are having great impact on our daily lives and equally offering new vulnerabilities for cybercriminals to exploit.

Meanwhile, in the statement, the association revealed its cybersecurity predictions for 2020 which are as follows:

1. Increase in targeted cyberattacks that will affect individuals, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), Telecommunication Companies and Banks.

2. The attacks to watch out for in Nigeria are Business Email Compromise (BEC), Social Engineering in form of Phishing Campaign, Ransomware, Supply Chain Attacks, Insider threats, and Attack on Free Public Wifi.

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3. Attacks that will continue to originate from Nigeria cybercrime gangs with their international collaborators in 2020 and beyond will continue to be wire fraud vis-à-vis BEC, identity theft, romance scams, fraudulent-check scams, gold-buying scams, advance-fee scams and credit card scams.

4. While phishing has been around for a long time, it will continue to be a very successful method of attack for hackers.

5. BEC attacks are growing in prevalence and creativity will continue to top cyberattacks originating from Nigeria for years to come.

6. More collaboration between Nigerian Cybercrime groups in partnership with their international cohorts to use spoofed email addresses and virtual private networks to anonymise their activities and infiltrate servers and email systems of various companies to identify large financial transactions.

7. Ransomware no doubt will continue to be on the rise in 2020, due to a lack of regulation mandating cyberattack disclosure by organisations in Nigeria.

8. Organisations, especially banks in Nigeria should be prepared for a major ransomware attack in 2020 in the league of WannaCry and Petya of 2017.

9. There will be Supply Chain Attacks through compromised 3rd party vendors and suppliers. This is because professional and business service outsourcing is on the rise.

10. Ransomware attacks (targeting cloud-based assets) will be on the rise. This is large because businesses are now moving their servers and data to the cloud and cybercriminals will take the opportunity to cause huge disruption to their victim’s business and automatically earn more money.

11. Cyber-attacks on critical infrastructures and sectors will increase in 2020 due to risk in cloud technology adoption, which can come in the form of accidental exposure, misconfigurations, un-secure third-party involvement and continuous shortage of cybersecurity experts in Nigeria.

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12. Attacks on free public wifi will multiply. As the government is encouraged to install more “free” public wifi systems, hackers will take advantage of unsecured technology to intercept transactions, steal information, launch attacks and establish BotNETs for further attacks.

13. Insider threats, especially within the banking sector will become more frequent in Nigeria and will continue to be on the rise in 2020.

14. Collaboration between bank officials, especially staff with privileged access with cybercriminals will be on the increase in 2020.

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