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NITDA plans Cyber Security Research Center, seeks partnership

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has hinted of emerging plans to set up a world class National Cyber Security Research Center in Nigeria as part of build up for safer data and allied resources in the country.

This is as the agency has called on stakeholders to work with NITDA to develop cyber security tools and Apps to educate and enlighten Nigerians. He assured that NITDA have special interest in collaborating with the private sector in such developmental feats.

According to the Director, Cyber Security at NITDA, Christopher Okeke, the new centre will    serve the purpose of building capacity and coordinating incident management and contributing to knowledge generation in cyber security.

In an interview, he argued that cyber warfare is a global scourge that needs to be addressed with global collaboration, which will be initiated by the proposed research center.

Okeke noted that “It is imperative to note that this war cannot be fought in isolation. Nations collaborate, share strategies and highly classified information and skills.”

“Already, NITDA is already working with the Cyber Security Malaysia and the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Center (CCIRC), among other in this regard.

He explained that NITDA is currently reviewing the standards and guidelines on development of government websites and minimum network security, to limit it to areas of that affect cyber security.

“Currently NITDA’s Cyber Security Department (CSD), which is saddled with the responsibility of instituting incident handling and mitigation strategies for MDAs and private sector organisations, already has component units that address Business Continuity; Digital Security Professional Development; Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) and Public Key Infrastructure development.

“There is no doubt in my mind that when these standards, when fully reviewed, publicized and operationalized; with mechanisms for compliance, would improve on our national cyber resilience,” the Director, Cyber Security at NITDA averred.

On the place of NITDA in national cyber security development, Okeke listed some of the key roles of the agency including international capacity building and enlightenment; policy formulation and standardization; and internal and external collaborations.

NITDA also agreed that Nigeria’s current rating with ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), which rates countries on legal measures, technical, organizational, capacity building and collaborations, needs be to improve from the current global 14th position.