The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Kashifu Inuwa, said that securing the country’s cyberspace was a prerequisite to achieving the Nigeria Digital Economy policy.
Inuwa revealed at a webinar organised by the agency in collaboration with Spire Solutions, an ICT company.
According to the director general, cyber criminals leverage the COVOD-19 pandemic period to defraud unsuspecting citizens, which has an impact on the economy.
Represented by Dr. Usman Gambo, Director, IT Infrastructure Solution, Inuwa said that the pandemic and the quest for survival had forced people and entities to adapt new possibilities especially on the internet for their daily activities.
“Data collected by Google reflected a spike in phishing emails from the commencement of the lockdown. “In January, Google recorded approximately 149,000 phishing websites, which has increased to 552,000 recently, an increase of about 350 per cent since January.
“The boom in the use of virtual platforms and increase in online activities by individuals, government and businesses led to an exponential increase in cybercrime incidence,” he said.
He said that surviving the antics of cyber criminals during and post COVID-19 pandemic required internet users to be cautious online.
The DG said that NITDA would be engaging security experts from both private and public institutions to initiate ideas on effective ways of securing the Nigerian cyberspace.
He emphasised that NITDA, as an agency of government saddled with the responsibility of ensuring a safe and secure cyberspace, would keep updating citizens through advisory notes.
“We carry out periodic awareness programmes to enlighten Nigerians on the dos and don’ts in the cyber space.”
The Lead, Computer Response Team, NITDA, Dr Mohammed Lawan, during his presentation on the “Dos and Don’ts” to fight COVID-19 related cybercrimes in Nigeria, mentioned that criminals take advantage of the high demand for protective equipment.
According to Lawan, they deceive people to click on a link under the guise of getting protective equipment free of charge or qualifying for palliatives that don’t exist.
Read also: MTN Unveils E-Sim In Nigeria