FITC Technology Summit: Stakeholders Explore Strategies For Addressing Cybercrimes and Hacking


Sunday, February 28, 2021 / 07.20AM / Ottoabasi  Abasiekong  for WebTV/Header Image Credit: FITC Nigeria

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Strategies for addressing the risks and adverse effects of cybercrimes and hacking in Nigeria came to the fore at the FITC Consulting 2021 technology summit which discussed the theme "2021 Hacking Predictions and Prevention: Security Strategies to Enable The Remote Workforce".


Giving the keynote presentation Mr.Menny Barzilay, the CEO of Cytactic said the conservative estimates in the Web of Profit research showed a cybercriminal revenue worldwide of at least $1.5trn. This meant that if cybercrime was a country it would have the 13th highest GDP in the world.


The expert noted that the report also highlighted the value of some cybercriminal activities across the globe which include;

  • $860bn - Illicit/illegal online markets
  • $500bn- Theft of trade secrets/Intellectual Property
  • $160bn - Data trading
  • $1.6bn - Crimeware-as-a-Service
  • $1bn - Ransomware


He described Cybercrime in the words of Dr. Michael McGuire as an economy which has a hyper-connected range of economic agents,  relationships and other factors now capable of generating, supporting, and maintaining criminal revenues at an unprecedented scale".


Barzilay urged organizations to invest in cyber crisis response facilities and not just in cybersecurity, strengthening their architecture.


In his contribution to the discourse Dr. David Isiavwe, General Manager, Ecobank & Chairman Board of Trustees, Information Security Society of Africa, Nigeria noted that the COVID 19 pandemic prompted a massive work-from-home movement, leading to the accelerated use of videoconferencing, collaboration tools, and cloud-based applications.


Speaking further he alluded to the fact that networks and remote access infrastructure have come under severe pressure. He added that new threats have also emerged targeting these technologies and pandemic-related anxieties.


Isiavwe listed some of the interesting statistics  that occurred in 2020 during the heat of the pandemic which  includes;

  •  240m average malicious email per day
  • 6,000% increase in COVID 19 themed spam
  • A 260% increase in click-through to malicious URLs from February- March 2020
  • A 775% spike in cloud service usage
  • The United States of America is a top location for spam and malware detections


He stressed the need for organizations to understand the various patterns of cyberattacks that can affect their operations which range from attacking the confidentiality of information, attacking of system availability, and compromising the integrity of systems and information.


Other kinds of attacks identified by  Dr. Isiavwe are the Business Email Compromise, Password Targeted, Social Engineering, and Card Data Infrastructure.


He also revealed that Cyber attacks in the first half of the year 2020,  exceeded the entire attacks recorded in the preceding year 2019.


Mr. John Anyanwu Partner, Cyber & Privacy, KPMG, Nigeria on his part believed technology is at an inflection point with events in the globe changing at a fast pace, which has led organizations to adopt digital technology as a business continuity imperative.


Providing further insight he said technologies like Artificial Intelligence are helping to reinvent business models and enable processes like identity & access management, enhanced authenticating,  fraud monitoring & prevention, data privacy, user behavior analytics, security incident detection & response.


He called on businesses to increase awareness on digitalization and provide mechanisms to address the inherent risks involved in it.


"Digitalisation offers numerous opportunities and risks that need to be managed with commensurate investments in risk management and auditing capabilities," he said.


The President, Cyber Security Expert's Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), Mr. Remi Afon, provided compelling data on the challenges of identity theft which showed the following facts;

  • Social Media Users are a high-risk group for ID Theft
  • Citing Symantec 87% of consumers have left personal information exposed online
  • Most Small businesses store private information that could be exposed
  • Stolen credit card data is often sold on dark web marketplaces for as little as $0.50 per card


Afon identified the following as the fastest-growing Cybersecurity skills to learn in 2021 which are;

  • Application security
  • Cloud security
  • Data science
  • Threat hunting
  • Automation
  • Risk Management

Mr. Sebastian Nzeadibe, the Country Manager, Fortinet in his presentation informed stakeholders on the key financial services Cybersecurity trends and challenges, that should be addressed by organizations.


Nzeadibe said companies, corporations, and organizations are facing the issues of cost reduction, improved visibility, automation & operational efficiency, flexibility, reactive risk, growing attacks, insider threats, rationalization of IT operations, integration of security infrastructure, and the transition to the cloud.


For the Oil and Gas sector, he added that Capex/Opex reduction, expanding attack surface, risk & compliance, sophisticated threats, and productivity and uptime were the trends and challenges.

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