Worried about the increasing rate of cybercrime in Nigeria and the entire globe, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said the Commission will leave no stone unturned in its fight against cybercrime in Nigeria
The Chairman of EFCC, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, gave the commitment in Lagos recently, during the Cyber Secure Nigeria 2021 Hybrid Conference with the theme “The Future of Cyber Security in Nigeria’s Digital Transformation”, which was organised by the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN).
Bawa who was represented by the Acting Head, Cybercrime Session, at EFCC, Lagos, Mr Suleiman Jijiwa, blamed the global rise in cybercrime on evolving technologies.
Bawa said: “In recent times, our society is rapidly changing to what we called “the e-society” where everything is done electronically like the e-payment, e-voting, e-banking, e-ticketing, e-registration amongst other e-services. The society is increasingly relying on the internet and other tools to engage in communication and conduct business activities among other benefits. However, this development has made our e-dealings vulnerable to cyber-attacks and negative consequences of security threats.”
According to Bawa, cyber security experts believed that financial damages and losses would reach $6 trillion by the end of this year. Studies have shown that cyber attacks are among the fastest-growing crimes across the globe. This rise was triggered by the huge financial gains on the side of the perpetrators. That is why it is not surprising that the cyber security expert predicted that before the end of 2021, there will be a cyber-attack incident in every 11 seconds, this is nearly twice that of the year 2011 which was every 19 seconds, Bawa further said.
Stating the role of EFCC in fighting against cybercrime in Nigeria, Bawa said: “The EFCC as a stakeholder and leading agency in the fight against cybercrime is mandated by law to arrest, investigate and prosecute offenders of cybercrime in connection with economic and financial crimes. The Commission has remained resolute, focused and ever ready in this regard, we are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that cybercrime activities are reduced to the barest minimum in Nigeria.
“It is against this backdrop that I want to authoritatively state that as at September 2021, the Commission has recorded about 978 convictions out of this, 80 per cent is connected to cybercrime and cybercrime-related offences.
The rise in cybercrime activities in Nigeria is alarming and worrisome. One of the ways to address it is through rigorous public awareness and enlightenment programmes and conferences like the CSEAN cybersecurity conference, where stakeholders in cyber security, business owners, people from the academia, military and law enforcement agencies, share ideas and knowledge on the best practice and principles of combating cyber threats and cybercrime accordingly.”
CSEAN, the convener of the cybersecurity event, stressed the need for strategic investments and interventions in order to develop a vibrant digital economy that will drive digital transformation in Nigeria.
President of CSEAN, Mr Remi Afon, in his opening remarks, said in the last one year, the cybersecurity threat landscape had evolved rapidly, and attacks have increased in number and sophistication.
He explained that although most data breaches in Nigeria go unreported, the increasing amount of large-scale, well-publicised breaches globally, suggested that not only are the number of security breaches going up, they are also increasing in severity as well. He cited recent security experts’ reports, which estimated that a ransomware attack would occur every 11 seconds in 2021, and how ransomware damages were envisaged to cost the world $20 billion this year.
According to him, “With rapid technological advances and digital transformation, it’s no surprise that the potential for cyberattacks and data breaches remain a top concern in today’s digital landscape. This year conference is focused on a collaborative effort, and CSEAN has assembled cybersecurity industry practitioners, business owners, academia, industry, government, military, and law enforcement agenci2s with a view to identify areas of common interests and proffer inter-workings on ways to tackle cybercrime in Nigeria, and by extension, the globe.”