Experts have warned Nigerians and businesses about potential new assaults, citing the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2022, which revealed that the Ransomware menace increased by 435% in the previous two years.
The third ThinkNnovation Cybersecurity Conference 2022, which was themed “Accelerating the adoption of Cybersecurity” and was put on by the Financial Institution Training Centre (FITC) and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS), featured experts who said immediate action is needed to stop the tide.
Experts from various industries in the financial services sector from across the world addressed the cybersecurity dangers and cautioned businesses and financial institutions to be aware of the antics of on-the-rise cybercriminals.
Chimaobi Ezeibe, Partner, Technology Risk Consulting, KPMG, Canada, said: “Cyber risk is no longer a technology problem; it is a board-level problem. It is something that is evolving faster than people are adjusting to, and everybody is just playing catch up.
“Cyber-attacks have become so complex and so structured that we now have state actors. Some hackers are being funded by governments to carry out attacks. This is more than a man with a briefcase and a laptop with access to the Internet.
“It is becoming the new oil and gas and it has been projected to become more profitable than drug shipping by 2025. This is why every business must be proactive about cybersecurity. We don’t want to be pushed by circumstances to make a decision. Let the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic be a warning; let’s be deliberate.”
Dr. David Isiavwe, of Africa, Nigeria (ISSAN), said that in 2020, over $400 million was paid out in ransomware, compared to $93 million in the year prior, implying a fourfold surge in cybercrime.
Isiavwe asserted that as organizations become more networked and reliant on digital business processes, the impact of cyberthreats and attacks on every facet of their operations will increase.
Opeyemi Onifade, a panelist and practice leader at Afenoid Enterprise Limited, said: “Cybersecurity has become a business risk, if you do not focus on it at the board level, your organisation will not survive. It is not a question of if you will be attacked; it is a question of when. So, organisations have to be ready.
“Most of what our organizations do today in terms of cybersecurity is just to achieve regulatory compliance. It is more than that. We have to move from compliance to maturity. There should be an incidence response plan and the right people to execute it. You should also have good practices in place.”