Nigeria loses N78 billion to cyber attacks yearly

Cyber-Attack• Financial sector, associations worst hit • CBN seeks collaboration and industry engagement
ACTIVITIES of cyber criminals, which has sustained a rising profile globally, is projected to be costing the Nigerian economy a yearly loss of about N78 billion.
According to DataGroupIT, most hit group has been the financial institutions, followed by associations and government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and regulatory authorities.
In a paper titled: Unified Intelligence:Authentication and Fraud, presented at the Advanced Threat Mitigation Strategy Seminar in Lagos, by the Product Manager, DataGroupIT, Dapo Salami, the statistics when interpreted, showed that financial institutions are loosing about N50 billion; associations N11 billion; Govt MDAs N10 billion; telecommunications firms N4.5 billion; ePayment companies N3 billion and on the overall, Nigeria loses N78 billion yearly.
The presentation listed top three cyber attacks methods used in Nigeria to include social engineering, which is about 83 per cent; malware 42 per cent; pharming, SQL injection, spoofing 23 per cent.
Other methods included brute force attacks, weak passwords; website defacement; use of unpatched software; organized crime syndicates, physical disconnection; hacking, email hacking; internal security breaches among others.
He said about 200 million strains of malware continue to look at business loopholes to wreck havoc, adding that 87 per cent customers from interaction feel upset, frustrated or betrayed when an online transactions is declined.
Salami, who said about two billion breaches were recorded in 2014, noted that data breaches and identity compromises continue to reduce the predictive value of traditional identity element validation and verification.
He posited that clients must interact remotely with customers at multiple phases throughout the customer journey from acquisition through mature account management.
But to stem this growing trend and electronic fraud, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has called for improved collaboration and industry engagement among stakeholders.
Speaking on Next Generation Authentication and Strategy: Secure Payment Challenges, CBN Director, Banking and Payments System Department, Dipo Fatokun, said developments in the electronic payment technologies are reshaping financial activity in several ways.
These ways, according to Fatokun, who was represented by an Assistant Director in the department, Sola Agboola, included automating complex transactions; broadening access to finance; increasing consumption in emerging markets; improving cash flow management among others.
While admitting that no business thrives without effective deployment of ICT to gain efficiency and competitive edge, he said yet many businesses are on the edge tackling electronic frauds on their electronic business platforms.
According to the CBN Director, the challenge to many bankers has been the ability to manage funds for customers using cutting edge technology to deliver services and ensuring the safety of customer funds in spite of growing cyber crime.
Fatokun said the CBN recognizes the need to harness expertise and consult broadly across the banking industry, payments services organisations, ICT sector, law enforcement to effectively combat electronic frauds and other vices, which was part of the reason for the establishment of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) IN 2011.
According to the Regional Director, DataGroupIT, Victor Ajua, while IT spends around security is still growing, there have been series of attacks on companies. He said this took a greater dimension in Nigeria because attention shifted to it because of the country’s emergence as the largest economy in Africa.
Ajua said cyber crimes and other vices continued on an upward swing because of the commercial benefits; unemployment and adventures.

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