In the wake of the escalating crises in Ukraine, the President of the United States of America has recently been prompting the US and the world at large of the possibility of President Putin of Russia using nuclear, biological warfare on Ukraine and likely to hit the US with Cyber attacks, apparently a 21st century conventional warfare. This is clearly a heightened dimension of Putin’s military campaign against Ukraine in a way to send a message to whoever cares to listen of his country’s capabilities. That alert has become a call to every nation and companies to bolster its cyber defenses.
While all these is happening, our nation’s fiscal policy attempts to make clear inroads into powering financial and banking operations via critical telecommunication infrastructure as well as digitalizing the naira to e-naira, voting system. It is also recommendable to do same for birth and death registration system, land registry system, mode of population census and securing population data, rail and road network infrastructure monitoring and control, vehicle registration system, international passport/national identity management system, sustainable power supply value chain system, water treatment and distribution system, network of pipelines etc.
With cyber attack strategies constantly evolving, it will be expected of a good government policy to look ahead and be prepared in practical terms for acute cyber attacks in the event of occurrences. Therefore, we will need experts with the knowledge to design cyber security frameworks with some level of in-built agility for 360-degree data security and visibility, asset management, threat detection and migration, risk-based visualization management as well as network configuration controls.
However, the question is how truly prepared our country Nigeria is in respect of preparing knowledge, skills, and experience for the next generation of cyber security experts as a national strategy.
In today’s information age and even till next tomorrow, data is more than oil and gas and those with unlimited access to it, control the economy of nations and the world. As the internet and technology continually advance, increasing connectivity demands between people, devices, machines via the internet of things IOT, businesses, systems, very huge data is already generated by nations, big data expected to be directly or indirectly at the disposal of different category of data users and foreign experts. The need for defining and modifying geo data boundaries comes real now; cyber warfare as a means of uncoupling nations desperately critical data assets is now becoming a stronger strategy for military onslaught/defence than any known store of military hardware.
As existing telcos prepare to soon compete with new data centers in the IT/communications sector witnessed by the buying of Main One – one of Nigeria’s data center and connectivity provider, much as this acquisition like many others will help grow digital infrastructure investment growth in Africa and beyond, the convolution of Nigerians data infrastructure needs to continuously have In-built cyber security resilience to network optimization in the telco space as Nigeria experience the springing up of new data centers.
With the short supply of cyber security experts, this will mean that critical data from Nigeria will be available and manned by almost completely foreign data and cyber security experts if our consciousness and readiness as a nation is not deliberate.
There is also clear need to review how regulatory approvals are gotten and align cyber security with our national security strategy, intelligently backed by well-crafted policies and legislations by experts in this field to guide our data utilization value chain as it is done in other climes. As more businesses in the world move their sensitive data to secured cloud or hybrid cloud environments, Nigerian based data centers if fortified will sure attract external patronage to attract foreign investment If our nation up-scales her data residency, sovereignty, and localization/cyber security laws through well laid-out, specific data protection and privacy regulations and industry standards will guarantee income benefits to the country .
Nigeria is reliant on digital communication infrastructure for financial transactions, funding small and medium scale businesses to stimulate economic growth. These systems, however, are not resilient and secured enough, making them susceptible to cyber attacks. These cyber attacks have devastating consequences on the economy. I therefore recommend that we establish a cyber security research center in collaboration with the Nigerian Communication Commission. With this research center, we will be able to carry out research into cyber security and develop strategies and solutions to address the growing cyber threats in Nigeria. This research center will act as a research hub for Nigerian cyber security experts and will serve as a training ground for the next generation of Nigerian cyber security experts.
Further, I suggest that regulatory authorities make all communications networks deploy solutions that subject network statistics and other datasets to intelligent data analysis but without violating data privacy laws to help detect cyber intrusions, areas of weak coverage and quality, service delivery, events and failures, capacity and traffic for quality improvement and cyber events management nationally. This will go a long way in proactively getting our nation ready ahead of the unforeseen.
© 2022, Admin. All rights reserved.