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Nigeria lost $550m to cybercrime in 2016 –Report

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Nigeria lost $550m to cybercrime in 2016 –Report

Others lose $345m

Nigeria lost N550 million to cybercrime last year, a report by Kenya-based IT firm, Serianu Limited, has revealed. Also, four other African countries lost $345 million, translating to a total sum of $895 million.

The breakdown of the report shows that Nigeria recorded the highest figure of $550 million, followed by Kenya and Tanzania with $175 million and $85 million respectively.

Ghana and Uganda also recorded $50 million and $35 million respectively.

The study dubbed ‘Achieving Cyber Security Resilience: Enhancing Visibility and Increasing Awareness,’ shows that the loss comprised an indirect loss of $537 million and direct loss of $358 million.

It further revealed that insider threats, which refer to fraud involving information or employee abuse of IT systems and information, are a bigger security threat compared to outsiders for African organisations. Worryingly, the report states that most organisations in Africa are ill-prepared to deal with information security threats.

“This is brought about by lack of sufficient budgets, lack of skilled professionals and lack of visibility within the organisation. Security professionals are struggling to demonstrate business value to senior management because they are providing very technical operational metrics whereas business managers are looking for more businessoriented metrics.

Lack of practical regulatory guidance from industry regulators and government is leading to poorly implemented and unenforceable security controls since they are not local focused, but rather copied and pasted regulations,” the report stated.

It is also reported that ICT security expenditure in African countries is estimated to grow from approximately $1.24 billion in 2015 to $3.6 billion in 2020.

To achieve this, the report recommended that African countries need to harden their infrastructure and services to enhance the resilience of the underlying foundation and combat information security threats.

“African countries need to enhance the security competencies of technology users and ICT security practitioners.

This will ensure that there is greater adoption of essential security practices among technology users and ensure that ICT security practitioners have adequate knowledge and capability in managing ICT security risks.

Given the borderless nature of cyber threats, it is important for African countries to continue working closely with international counterparts and also encourage cross-border collaboration within the continent,” the study stated.

It is reported that many private and public companies in the countries are not security conscious, thereby making them susceptible to cyber-attacks.

As part of efforts to combat the menace, the Federal Government introduced certain measures such as the Nigerian Cybercrimes Bill, which has since become law.

The law provides for the prohibition, prevention, detection, response, investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes and for other related matters.

This is not the first attempt at anticybercrime legislation. The efforts to legislate against cybercrime date back, at least six years, when Nigerians wishing to conduct meaningful business online faced a host of challenges.

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