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Cybersecurity is essential to end cybercrimes

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By Mercy Kelani

Rapid expansion of the digital landscape requires understanding of the practice.

Due to the speedy evolvement of digital age, computer security is essential for protection of the online world. Dependency on the internet has not ceased to increase, therefore, it has become very important to ensure its safe and secure usage for the protection individuals, businesses and counties from potential threats. Internet security is an act of protecting computer systems, data, and network from dangerous attacks, damage and unauthorised access for the purpose of ensuring confidentiality, availability and integrity.

In Nigeria, the rapid expansion of the digital landscape gives rise to the need to understand and embrace cybersecurity. There are many major reasons why understanding computer security is crucial in Nigeria. One of such reasons is for protection of personal data. Many people share almost all their personal information on the internet, including financial details and health records. Education of cybersecurity helps individuals to know potential threats and protect their personal information, using best practices, from getting into the hands of cybercriminals.

Newly signed Act addresses data security measures and related issues.

On June 14, 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu signed the Data Protection Act 2023 into law. This Act is aimed at safeguarding the fundamental freedoms, rights and interests of data subjects, according to the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria. Provisions of the newly signed law also replaced the former Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) — which was founded during former President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime — with the Nigeria Data Protection Commission. The Act also addresses data security measures, processing of personal data, management of data breaches, and others.

Protection of national security is another reason to understand cybersecurity. Government systems and critical infrastructure are interconnected, exposing the country to cyber threats that could affect national security. The study of how to secure the nation’s data allows experts to defend against the attacks and prevent the potential breakdown of critical services, while ensuring the safety of the nation. The national Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, emphasised on the role it security system plays in the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 Agenda.

Digital attacks on companies cause financial losses.

Understanding what it means for Nigeria to be free of cybercriminals will promote economic resilience. Digital technology is mostly adopted by the Nigerian economy, as many businesses make online transactions. As a result, cyberattacks on companies cause financial losses and damage the trust of consumers. Investment in online security education will help businesses protect their assets with assurance of continual operations. To address this issue, the Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023 report stressed the need for expansion of the practice to effectively tackle the threats.

Also, to counter cybercrime in Nigeria, the knowledge of digital security is essential. When there is lack of required security, cybercriminals often engage in fraudulent operations like ransomware attacks, phishing scams, and identity theft. In recent times, Nigerian banks, universities, and some government agencies have suffered from these attacks. With the understanding of how to secure online data, law enforcement will be able to investigate and apprehend criminals responsible for the attacks, thereby promoting a culture of innovation and advancement in technology.

Nigerian government should support initiatives of the practice.

Additionally, there should be the creation of awareness concerning cybersecurity through campaigns across businesses, educational institutions, and government organisations. There is also a need for the Nigerian government to support initiatives of the practice and ensure allocation of resources to develop a resilient cybersecurity infrastructure. Likewise, it is essential to ensure an increased partnership between public and private sectors to empower the capabilities of the country. While putting in place aforementioned strategies, there is a need to ensure continuous learning through workshops, certifications and conferences, even as cyber threats keep evolving.

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