Cyber security in Nigeria needs to be a priority and here’s why

Cyber security in Nigeria needs to be a priority and here’s why

Nigeria is without doubt one of the most enterprising locations in Africa, boasting the largest population of all the countries on the continent and an economy that surpasses those of neighbouring states. While there are signs of Nigeria developing into a major global economy, certain steps must be taken rapidly to thwart the risk of damage to businesses resulting from catastrophic cyber attack.

According to a recent Deloitte report, last year Nigeria encountered multiple phishing attacks on financial institutions and utilies, as well as several cyber attacks, with organisations held ransom by hackers demanding fees in exchange for the restoration of important data. According to statistics, the estimated annual cost of cybercrime in Nigeria already amounts to approximately 0.08% of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), with Ransomware just one of the major threats gathering momentum.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has already set an example by requesting that financial institutions submit their cyber security framework for review – a move that has come in the wake of revelations that fast growing SMEs within the country are set to be targeted.

New technology gives rise to security challenges and with the IoT set to become the next target alongside cloud-based computing, serious commitment to keeping industry going is to be admired.

Given that Nigeria shows such vast potential, it is important that businesses of all sizes take a proactive stance in tackling cyber crime, which if left unchecked could result in loss of critical information, operational downtime and the inevitable financial losses that follow.

MGI estimates that, in 2013-2030 Nigeria could expand its economy by more than 6% annually, with its GDP exceeding $1.6 trillion, moving the country into the global top 20. So while awareness may come at a cost, it pays to be savvy.

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