As cyber criminals use COVID19 as an opportunity to defraud suspecting Nigerians, the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi said that securing Nigeria’s cyberspace is a prerequisite to achieving Digital Economy Policy.
Abdullahi stated this at the webinar organised by the agency in collaboration with SPIRE Solutions on ‘Cyber Hygiene During and After COVID-19.’
The DG, who was represented by by Director, IT Infrastructure Solution, Dr. Usman Abdullah, said that due to the pandemic and the quest for survival people and entities have been forced to adapt new possibilities especially internet for their daily activities.
Reeling out statistics, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi explained that data collected by Google reflected a spike in phishing emails from the commencement of the lockdown.
He said in January, Google recorded approximately 149,000 phishing websites, which has increased to 552,000 recently, an increasing of about 350% 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 incidences.
“To survive the antics of cyber criminals during and post COVID-19 pandemic, there is need for strategy. We need to strategize. One of these strategies is to acquire knowledge on how to stay safe in the cyberspace,” he said.
Abdullahi assured that his agency will be engaging security experts from both private and public institutions to rob minds on effective ways of securing Nigeria cyberspace.
He emphasised that NITDA, as an agency of Government with the responsibility of ensuring a safe and secure cyberspace, will live up to expectations by providing Nigerians with advisory notes on these incidences.
“We carry out periodic awareness programs to enlighten Nigerians on the dos and don’ts in the cyber space,” he concluded.