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Loss of 0.08% of GDP (N127bn) to cybercrimes yearly serious threat to Vision 2020

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The porosity of the Nigerian economy to cybercrimes has not only led to annual loss of about 0.08 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or N127 billion yearly to cybercrimes, but a huge threat to being among the world’s top 20 economies come 2020.

Both international and local experts, who gathered on the instance of the United States Commercial Service and McAfee Incorporated at a Breakfast Forum on Cyber Security in Nigeria, have raised serious concerns on the fear, saying time to act is now.

Presenters argued that year 2016 took cyber attacks to an unprecedented level, as there were reports alleging that it was used to influence and sway votes during elections.

Up till now, there are indications that several organisations including financial concerns suffered cyber attacks, some had to pay ransom for their data to be released even though majority were not reported for fear of stigmatization.

In his submission bordering on Cyber Crime Nigeria, President of the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Destiny Amana, argued that “in 2016 there was increase in the number of sophisticated phishing attacks, which occurred in most financial institutions and utility companies”.

“Ransomware would continue to evolve, saying this could be viewed as cyber-kidnapping.

“In this case, data is kidnapped and a ransom is expected to be paid for the affected data to be made available,” Amana averred, stressing that “There should be concerted efforts by government, its agencies, security operatives and the citizens to check the growing influence of cyber crime, especially as the country hopes to become a leading economy by 2020 through its Vision 2020 Project”.

Giving further emphasis on the peculiarities of Nigeria, Amana noted that with the recession in 2016 came several schemes, including cyber ponzi, which promised unbelievable financial returns on investments. He stressed that these schemes generate returns for older investors by acquiring new investors or from re-investors.

Earlier in his presentation, the Territory Account Manager, sub-Saharan Africa of McAfee, Will O’Shea, said cyber crime was real and targets everybody.Citing a Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) report, which hinted that Nigeria ranked third in the global Internet crime behind the United Kingdom (UK), United State of America (USA), O’Shea stressed the need to move against the menace before it consumes the economy.

Business Hilights recalls that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), had earlier last month warned public and private bodies dealing on data to be cautious of trending cyber attacks that may originate from Europe and Asia from time to time.

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