Nigerian banks and businesses are making an easy target for hackers, with 97 percent of organizations yet to obtain crucial full proof virtualisation technology, further adding to concerns about cybercrime in the West African country.
Experts warn that the failure by businesses to protect their own systems from hackers could have dire consequences for the country’s economy, especially the banking sector.
Tim Pearson, chief architect at global IT security firm Wini Group, disclosed the figures at the Nigerian Digital Agenda breakfast held in Lagos at the weekend. He said businesses that did not protect themselves could lose 50 percent of their revenues because of the lack of protection.
“Right now, only about three per cent of companies here are virtualised, they are wasting a lot of money,” he said. “I can make you more secure today with virtual technology than you ever have with physical technology and I proved it with a forum we had with bankers.”
He said that the terabytes of bandwidths available courtesy of the Main One, Glo 1 and WACS cables provided the perfect opportunity for virtualising business operations.
“It is like water everywhere yet there is no drop to drink because you don’t have the last mile to bring it in,” Pearson said. “We can save over 50 percent in human capital, electrical resources and move to the cloud. To be virtualised, you must educate your people.”
There have already been calls for Nigeria to deal with its cybercrime problem, with the opposition All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) condemning the government for having yet to outlaw such crimes.
ANPP national publicity secretary Emma Eneukwu said Nigerians are now afraid that the cybercriminals may frustrate the ongoing cashless policy of the nation’s apex bank – the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and called on the government to legislate against cybercrimes.
ICT stakeholders have also criticised the failure of the government to enact such a law, with the Nigerian Cybercrime Working Group saying it drafted such legislation eight years ago, but to no avail.
Other African countries have been more active in fighting hackers. East African countries will this year form a partnership for fighting cybercrimes in the region, with the permanent secretary at Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communications saying: “We need to come up with a universal platform to tackle cyber security. As East Africans, let’s work as a team in dealing with cyber threats at national and regional levels.”