The advantages the internet accords us with, are numerous. From the report we published couple of weeks back, it will be seen that Nigeria ranked well on the internet affordability index among the developing economies in the world. Ardent observers of this tech space in the country will notice that there has been a surge in the number of activities performed online.

Consequently, applications of the internet to our daily lives can’t be overstated, e.g. for: defence, commerce, entertainment, health, fashion, energy and sadly, hacking/terrorism!

Reality of the negative vices some people use the internet for and measures that can be adopted to counter this ill wind is succinctly depicted by Deloitte in the ‘Nigerian Cyber Security Outlook 2015’ report.

“With the coming elections in 2015, there may be an increase in the cyber-attack of the websites and information technology (IT) infrastructure of political organisations and public institutions possibly as a means of expressing grievances,” an excerpt from the report says.

It further said that, every number of second that made up the previous year -2014- around the world saw hackers effectually exploiting vulnerable people, systems and processes in coordinated planned attacks. Indication is that, this year will not be an exception as was seen by the audacity of some hackers who slithered into the websites of  U.S retail giant (Target) and SONY.

These ominous signs (and others) may have spurred the National Assembly of Nigeria to pass the Cybercrime Bill in 2014 in a bid to checkmate potential cyber criminals.

Additionally, the cyber security strategy and policy documents introduced by National Security Adviser (NSA), both, represented activities that defined 2014 as the year for an awakening.

“Our 2014 cyber security outlook was an eye-opener into the Nigerian cyberspace as all the predictions made were accurate. 2015 must therefore not be underestimated as the seeming deduction is that the hackers are always one step ahead; this is a gap that must be bridged. Based on current events in both social and economic realms in Nigeria, we have reviewed below some of the cyber security trends and threats that are likely to be significant in 2015,” the report stated further.

Potential cyber security trends and threats that -likely- will be significant this year are:

  • Phishing and insider threats (especially as crude oil prices continue to fall)
  • Cyber-attacks based on social and political innuendos
  • Prosecution of cyber criminals (may experience a major boost)
  • Outsourcing of information security function; senior level executives may be held accountable (and possibly fired) for security breaches

The best way to stay ahead of these threats is explained here: “…however, the reduction will only be based on a successful implementation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and electronic ID by the National Identity Management Committee (NIMC)”.

These revelations by Deloitte hopefully will encourage stakeholders (i.e. all of us) to take measures that will ensure we don’t become cheap targets for cyber criminals –especially as Nigeria is evolving to become a digital powerhouse.

Photo Credit: CyberHades via Compfight cc

Olumuyiwa Coker Author

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