‘80% of EFCC’s 978 convictions cybercrime related’

• Financial damage on porous cyberspace to hit $6tr by Dec

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has disclosed that as at September 2021, 80 per cent of its 978 convictions were connected to cybercrime and cybercrime related offences.

Describing the rise in cybercrime activities in Nigeria as alarming and worrisome, EFCC said it has resolved to leave no stones unturned in ensuring the menace is reduced to the barest.

EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, disclosed this at the Cyber Secure Nigeria Conference 2021 themed, ‘The Future of Cybersecurity in Nigeria’s Digital Transformation’, organised by the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) in Lagos, yesterday.

Bawa, represented by the Acting Head of Department, Cybercrime Section, Lagos Zone, Suleiman Jijiwa, noted that the rapid switchover to “e-society”, where everything is done electronically, like e-payment, e-voting, e-banking, e-ticketing, e-registration, “has made e-dealings vulnerable to cyber attacks and negative consequences of security threats.”

He said cybersecurity experts believe that financial damages and losses could reach $6 trillion by the end of this year. He said studies have shown that cyber attacks are among the fastest growing crimes across the globe and that this upsurge was triggered by huge financial gains on the side of the perpetrators.

“That is why it is not surprising that cyber security experts predicted that before the end of 2021, there will be a cyber attack incident every 11 seconds. This is nearly twice that of the year 2011, which was every 19 seconds.

“Equally, cyber attacks in general cause huge financial loss to the victims. Research has shown that cybercrime cost businesses, government agencies and consumers more than $1 trillion in 2020. This is around one per cent of the global GDP, while about $945 billion was lost to cyber incidents; $145 billion was spent on cyber security. This cost keeps on increasing yearly,” he stated.

President of CSEAN, Remi Afon, said in the last one year, the cybersecurity threat landscape evolved rapidly and attacks increased in number and sophistication. He said although, most data breaches in Nigeria go unreported, the increasing amount of large-scale, well-publicised breaches globally suggest that not only are the number of security breaches going up, they’re also increasing in severity as well.

He called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to stop the growing menace in the country.

Representing the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), Brigadier General Samad Akisode, Director of Communications, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), said efforts must be concerted to tackle the menace.

He said there is a National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy roadmap document to address emerging threats in the cyber domain and enhance progressive use of cyberspace by Nigerians.

Monguno said Mr. President has directed the ONSA to coordinate the efforts of all stakeholders across various sectors of the Nigerian economy towards effective implementation of the document.

To this end, he said the ONSA has been organising workshops across seven sectors of the economy.

Representing Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Special Assistant on ICT, Olatubosun Alake, said efforts must be put together to ensure the Nigerian space is safe and secure.

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