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NSA, Microsoft Team up to Tackle Cybercrime in Nigeria

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Worried with the increasing cybercrime causing more economic harm than good in Nigeria, platforms and productivity services giant, Microsoft Nigeria has joined forces with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and other industry stakeholders, to tackle the ugly trend.
With over N159 billion lost by Nigerians through online scam and identity theft between 2000 and 2013 as well as 2,175 websites defaced within the same period, in a cybersecurity capacity building workshop organised last week in Abuja between Microsoft and NSA, participants agreed that there was need for education and awareness intervention for security and law enforcement and other ICT regulatory agencies in Nigeria for enhancing the security of the country’s cyberspace so as to checkmate cybercrime promptly.

Earlier in his welcome speech, the National Security Adviser, Major Babagana Monguno, represented by Barrister. Isaac Idu, Director of Internal Security in the office said, “The cyberspace virtual global domain while dismantling barriers to commerce, is increasingly transforming our economy and security posture, creating opportunities for innovations and the means to improve general welfare of the citizens.
Since cybersecurity had taken the dimension of global phenomena which requires concerted efforts of both the private and public strategy to tame it, Major Monguno expressed happiness that Microsoft as a key partner is aligning itself with ONSA to provide a secure online space in the country as part of efforts to ensure security strategy to secure the cyber space.

Reiterating that the workshop was part of government’s renewed measures towards safeguarding the nation’s presence in cyberspace and ensuring protection of the national critical information infrastructure, Monguno explained that the Federal Government was determined to confront the threats in the Nigerian cyberspace, uphold and support the openness of the cyberspace as well as balance security with respect to privacy and fundamental rights.

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In his address, the Managing Director, Microsoft Nigeria, Mr. Kabelo Makwane said the partnership on the cybersecurity capacity building workshop was borne out of the desire to support ONSA, Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs), to grow capacity with respect to global approaches to national cybersecurity strategy, addressing cybersecurity risks through amongst others computer emergency response Team (CERT) management, security and privacy of data in the cloud, cybersecurity forensics and audit skills, global policy and legal developments, cloud computing and its benefits, growing local data hosting capabilities, in line with the new Nigerian cybercrime law, the Cybercrime Act 2015.
According to Makwane, ONSA’s National Cybersecurity Strategy (NCSS) closely aligns with Microsoft’s ambition to provide a safe, secure and resilient online environment.

For the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Mr. Peter Jack, the agency had established the NITDA’s cert.NG centre to police the cyberspace.
He added that the agency is constantly involved in critical role in capacity building through the agency’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) centres established in 2014, adding, “We are also concerned and have started the Child Online Campaign. We believe strongly in multi stakeholders strategy, as we have worked closely with ONSA in formulating the national cyber-security policy formulation and documents”.
According to him, NITDA has also concluded plans to collaborate with ONSA to develop a framework aimed at addressing child online abuse in the country.

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He said: “We wait eagerly to call all the stakeholders to have the Cybercrime Council inaugurated and then we can make progress.”
Noting that the time had come for multi-stakeholder’s strategy to combat all forms of cybercrimes and identity theft, Jack disclosed that of the 2,175 websites that had been defaced, 585 were actually government websites.
Meanwhile, conscious of the diversity of implications of the nation’s risk exposure in cyberspace, the Federal Government as a matter of urgency had put in place cohesive measures towards addressing the emerging risks effectively.

Development of the Nigeria’s National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy documents; Establishment of the Nigeria’s Cybercrime Act 2015; Establishment of the National Cyber Monitoring Centre, i.e. the Nigeria’s National Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT) Operation Center; Establishment of National Computer Forensics Lab for cybercrime investigations by all security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies and Establishment of effective collaboration mechanism with international cybersecurity organizations across the globe, among other are some of the measures put in place by the government to tackle the menace of cybercrime.

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