NIGERIA looses over N127 billion annually to cyber-crimes, the Federal Government (FG) on Tuesday said.
Minister of Communications, Bar Adebayo Shittu, made the disclosure in Abuja at the Cyber Secure Conference organized by the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN).
Shittu, who stressed the need to intensify efforts so as to secure the country’s cyber space against imminent threats, said the federal government already inaugurated an advisory council on cyber security.
His words: “Indeed, Nigeria loses over N127 billion annually, which translates to about 0.08 of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The financial implication could be much more, but a larger number of incidents remain undetected or unreported. These grim figures go on to emphasise the fact that cyber criminals never sleep.
“Building a resilient cyber defense is a priority as available statistics puts the cost of cyber-crime globally at $700 billion per year, and it is projected to rise to about $2 trillion by 2019, due to the rapid digitization of consumer lives and company records. Breaches like these have steadily been on the rise as according to reports, number of incidents in 2016 grew by 38 per cent as against the number reported in 2015.”
The Minister noted the increasing threats in the nation’s cyber space stressing that the trend was becoming more sophisticated and frequent.
According to him, the country is in dire need of cyber experts that could help secure the cyber space.
Earlier, CSEAN President, Remi Afon identified need for the country to implement the National Cyber Security Strategy and Policy designed by the federal government to secure the country.
He cited the recent global cyber-attack named as ‘WannaCry ransomeware’ which had wreaked havoc in 104 countries and shut down over 200,000 computers.
However, he said government should make it a mandate in partnership with other stakeholders in the sector to create cyber-security awareness across the country.
Aside, Afon urged the federal government to allocate budget to build cyber defence system and increase capacities among private and public establishments in order to jointly build a resilient cyber security ecosystem.
“We don’t need to be reminded of the growing sophistication and pervasiveness of cyber-attacks, whether it was a billion compromised Yahoo accounts or state-sponsored hackers muscling on national elections.
“Just last week, the world was hit with ‘WannaCry ransomeware’ attack-one of the largest ever cyber-attacks in recent years. This attack reinforces how dependent we have become on our data-driven networks and serves as a wakeup call for government, businesses and organisations to make cyber security top priority,” he added.