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Cyber crime growing faster than sustainable ICT development worldwide— NITDA DG

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Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Pantami, has revealed that the incidence of cyber crime is growing faster than sustainable inventions and new technologies in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Speaking recently in Lagos during a Startup Nigeria workshop, he averred that “I have special interest in cyber security, because I always believe that as long as we are online, we are exposed to danger. Secondly, the rate at which cyber crime is spreading globally is much higher at the rate ICT is developing. As the experts would say ‘cyber crime is at the speed of light, while cyber security is at the speed of law”.

“This is very true, because if you move at the speed of law, you can start the process of an Act, which you can spend years without achieving the purpose. Law takes time: you would need to approach the National Assembly with drafts, plenary and public hearings and other processes. But cyber crime is at the speed of light.

Dr. Pantami disclosed further that NITDA has started looking critically at strategic aspecst of the economy by establishing cyber security department.

According to him, “Prior to my time at NITDA there was no department. With that Department in Place, NITDA is now proactive with regards to cybercrime reportage like in the cases of ‘WannaCry’ and ‘Petrya’. During the WannaCry incident NITDA was the first Agency, not in Nigeria, but in Africa, to alert the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA), corporate bodies and the general public. During Petrya too NITDA was the first”.

While expressing on the observed level of cyber threats on individuals, financial institutions, government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as well as their affiliates, NITDA boss revealed that already, Nigeria losses N78 billion yearly to cybercrimes.

His revelation was also sustained by the president, Cyber Security Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), Mr. Remi Afon, who stated that “cyber-crime originating from Nigeria costs about $9.3 billion annually across the globe”.