By Bode Adewumi
IN order to ensure that there is strong security protection for data transmission before the February 25 general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been advised by the Chief Executive Officer of New Horizons Nigeria, Mr Tim Akano, to conduct a stress test on data-in-motion or in transit on the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) before the election day.
Speaking on a topic, “Understanding privacy and online risk in the digital world today,” to mark this year’s World Data Privacy Day, organised by the Data and Knowledge Privacy Protection Initiative, Akano said that the general election will be the first time in the history of the country that live data will be used to determine who will be the next president of the country.
Akano said that the inferno that can burn us as a country is the use of live data that is vulnerable to attack, noting that it is in the best interest of INEC in particular and Nigeria in general, to pay more than casual attention to what is called ‘the man in the middle attack’ which hackers can exploit to intercept, modify, or retransmit election data while in motion or in transit.
He continued, “There is nothing more important in Nigeria today than the success of the February election and we are a country of about 222 million and nothing must go wrong because the entire West African coast, from Benin Republic to Togo to Ghana, does not have the infrastructure to sustain us.”
Akano pointed out instances where conflicting results in other countries had led to untold bloodbath, addingthat between 2007 and 2008, Kenya witnessed an untold bloodbath arising from conflicting election.
“In 2010 and 2011, Mr Devil himself took over the affairs of Ivory Coast when conflicting election results were announced.
“In 2016, Russia was alleged to have influenced the American presidential elections through technology, and in the recent Osun governorship tribunal judgement, three types of BVAS results on the same election were alleged to have been tendered and this should not be because maths is exact, absolute.
“According to the 2022 Securonix Threat, the report reveals that insiders were involved in 57 percent of data breaches and there are new technological solutions to this if INEC cares to prevent that,” he said.
While commending INEC for the end-to-end encryption they have done for the technology, however, he called on INEC chairman on the need to urgently talk to some Nigerian cyber security practitioners and appoint some devil’s advocate who will conduct a stress test on BVAS DIM (Data-in- Motion) before the wholesale adoption on February 25.
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