NITDA Continues Nationwide Cybersecurity Awareness Workshops

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), with the
mandate of developing and regulating Information Technology (IT) in Nigeria,
continues this year’s nationwide cybersecurity awareness workshops. These
sensitization events are part of the Agency’s continuous efforts aimed at
equipping citizens with foundational knowledge as well as share best practices
on staying safe in cyberspace.
There has been a tremendous increase in the number of incidences where
Nigerians have lost money and data through vulnerabilities arising from lack of
knowledge on how to manage their online presence and personal details. The
cybercriminals use social engineering, phishing mails, and probably specific to
Nigeria, the use of text messages pretending to be sent from banks, requesting
for PIN or revalidation of BVN numbers. To the unaware, such are the sources
where vital information needed for making unauthorized withdrawals from
victims’ bank accounts occur. A more worrisome and recent trend is the SIM
Swap cases, where the victim’s SIM card is swapped; an operation that makes
the victim’s phone inaccessible while funds are transferred.
Knowing that everyone that uses ICT devices is vulnerable, these workshops
target executives of registered associations and groups, with the ultimate aim to
reach their members. We have also deployed effective conventional channels
and social media in conveying the stay-safe message. The workshops use
presentations and interactive demonstration of trending concepts like SMS, SIM
swap, malware, phishing, social engineering and its manifestations, to
disseminate the stay-safe tips. To further ensure that attendees assimilate the
message succinctly, the contents are translated into the most predominant
language of the zone.
Cybersecurity has attracted the attention of governments, enterprises, groups
and individuals owing to the myriads of potentials for business growth, damage,
national security and sovereignty. To nations, the negatives could cripple a
nation’s economy should critical infrastructure be affected. The International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) has evaluated nations in the Global
Cybersecurity Index (GCI), placing Nigeria on number 4 in Africa. These
programmes are also aimed at improving the country’s standing on the GCI.
NITDA has planned effective capacity building programmes that will culminate in
organizational and individual certifications, while using Research and
Development (R&D) results to feed these enlightenment programmes and aid
relevant Agencies and Corporates in permanent mitigation strategy. It has also
utilized interagency collaborations for improved legal and institutional framework
for a holistic improvement in the cybersecurity resilience of and profile of the
The first of the series of Workshops was held in Katsina, Katsina State for the
North West Zone on Thursday 29th March, 2018, followed by that of Bayelsa
State on the 19th April, 2018. The event for the North East held at Gombe in
Gombe State on the 16th July, 2018. Tuesday 23rd October, 2018 at Lokoja, Kogi State, for the North Central Zone.
The events attracted participants from Government Agencies, Military and
Paramilitary organisations, the Academia, registered cooperatives and
associations and the private sector from the states of the zones. Dates and
venues for subsequent Workshops will be made public in due course.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is an
Agency of the Federal Government. The Agency was created in April 2001
to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and co-ordinate
general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically,
Section 6(a, c & j) of the Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for
the planning, research, development, standardization, application,
coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information
Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria; and render
advisory services in all information technology matters to the public and
private sectors including introducing appropriate information technology
legislations and ways of enhancing national security and the vibrancy of the industry.

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