Nigeria has lost $450m to hackers, says Shittu

Nigeria is said to have lost over $450million in 3,500 cyber-attacks unleashed on the country’s Information Communication Technology, space in recent times.

The Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, who made the revelation in Abuja, said investigations carried out by the ministry showed that 70percent of the attacks carried out by hackers have be successful.

Speaking at the 8th Cyber-security, Technology Optimization and National Development forum organized by the Information System Audit and Control Association, ISACA, the minister regretted that the prevalence of electronic commerce and online malls was giving cybercriminals opportunity to attack unsuspecting Nigerians.

“The recent data from NITDA shows that there were a total of about 3,500 cyber-attacks in Nigeria, 70% of which were successful, which led to a loss of about $450 million,” he said.

He therefore appealed to IT security professionals to secure the nation’s cyber space so as to attract investments into the country and also restore investors’ confidence on the safety of their investments.

“I can assure you that if our cyberspace is safe, investors will come; e-commerce will be given much priority; and most transactions will be done without stress and above all, the quality of life will increase. This is what national development is.”

He said that he was not unaware that ISACA recently introduced Cyber Security Nexus, CSX, to equip professionals with expert skills and competencies to counter cyber terrorism in the country.

“At this juncture, may I emphasize here that though these certifications are very important, but your practical involvement, the demonstration of your expert knowledge in facilitate a secured cyberspace in Nigeria is our utmost demand.

“I am aware of the many strides that ISACA has achieved in the USA with the contributions of the use of its COBIT in the governance and management of public institutions. 

“My personal challenge to ISACA, Abuja, is to ensure that such efforts are domesticated in Nigeria. We must influence our space, define our space and prepare adequately to defend it. We want to see not just a working technology and applications, but we want to be assured that such technologies are safe and used properly,” Shittu said. 

According to him, the share of telecommunications in total real Gross Domestic Product declined throughout 2010 to 2014, but in rose in the last five quarters. “The ICT sector contributed 12.62% to the total nominal GDP in the 2nd quarter of 2016, up from its 12.25% contribution in the 1st quarter.”

He said government is redoubling efforts to increase ICT’s contribution to our GDP, as we consider it to be a veritable alternative to the oil sector whose contributions have dwindled over the past year.

On his part, the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Dr. Isa Ibrahim, said his agency would be collaborating with ISACA to evolve solutions that will address the menace, saying Nigeria cannot function properly if it is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. 

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