Nigerians responsible for $9.3bn in global loss to cybercrime – CSEAN boss

Nigeria is responsible for at least $9.3 billion out of the total global loss to the rising cybercrime, according to the President, Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), Remi Afon.

Afon disclosed this at the National Cyber Security Awareness Month organised by the American Embassy in Lagos yesterday. While making reference to a report, he said that somebody’s identity is stolen every three seconds as a result of the menace.

Cybercrime was said to have surpassed illegal drug trafficking as a criminal means of making money around the world.

The CSEAN president, who also made references to Forbes and Cybersecurity Ventures, disclosed that cybercrime cost has been projected to reach $2 trillion by 2019, while damages that would emanate from the menace would hit $6 trillion by 2021.

Already, he said, it had been established that between 2012 and 2014, Nigeria lost N64 billion to cybercrimes, while on a yearly basis, the figure has risen by N127 million.

Afon, who said 89 per cent of breaches have a financial or espionage motive, noted that cyber crime prosecutions are picking up in the country. He explained that the menace comes in different forms, “including 419, phishing, social engineering, malware, cyber bullying and identity theft.”

He disclosed that phishing accounts for 83 per cent; compromised accounts, 63 per cent; web-based attacks 54 per cent; and client side attacks, 43 per cent.

According to him, it usually takes 146 days before a successful breach is detected, while 84 per cent of breaches are against the application layer. “Average cost of cybercrime is $7.7 million. About 95 per cent of enterprise attacks are through emails.”

The U.S. Consul-General, John Bray, said all around the globe, individuals, companies and governments have become victims of cyber attacks.

He said that it was for this reason that in 2009, President Barrack Obama urged an increase in education and dialogue about cybersecurity in the cyberspace security review.

“As part of this policy review, the Department of Homeland Security created an ongoing cybersecurity awareness campaign – Stop.Think.Connect.

“Stop.Think.Connect. is a national public campaign designed to raise awareness of cybersecurity and to be more vigilant about practising safe online habits.

“By joining the Stop.Think.Connect campaign, you will have connections to partners and subject matter experts who are committed to increasing online safety; cybersecurity tips, messaging, articles, and presentations; monthly discussions highlighting current cyber issues and trends,” he stated.

Bray stressed that the growing dependence on technology, coupled with the increasing threat of cyber-attacks and risks to privacy, demands greater security in online world. And by adopting and joining the campaign, he said people would better understand the risks that come with using the Internet and the importance of practising safe online behavior.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said cybersecurity has become an essential component of human activity. He stressed that its high level of complexity requires action at different levels (both virtual and physical) and by different actors (governments, private sector, civil society, intergovernmental organisations, among others.)

Danbatta, represented by the Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Tony Ojobo, said as the world approaches the end of the second decade of the 21st century, the challenges of a secure cyberspace are more daunting as threat actors are becoming more resourceful (both in terms of skillsets, competencies and available technologies), more brazen and determined to inflict maximal damage to their victims (who may be individuals, corporate organisations, enterprises, or even nations), and more pervasive in terms of their profiles.

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