NITDA begins cyber security awareness campaign

Agency Reporter

In commemoration of October as Cyber Security Awareness Month, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has begun an awareness summit to ensure citizens’ safety and security online.

The virtual summit, a four-day programme with the theme “Cyber-Aware Citizenry: A Foundation of the Digital Economy’’ began on Monday in Abuja,

The Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, said that the awareness summit was necessary because of the growing rate of dependence on technology and increasing rates of cyber attacks.

“Developing a digital economy hinges on trust and safer cyberspace and at NITDA, we embarked on this annual campaign to build trust in our journey to a digital Nigeria.

“The summit is in commemoration with the global Cyber Security Awareness Month which targets four strata of the society including public organisations, parents and children, youth, and corporate organisations.

“The contents are focused on sensitising Nigerians to stay safe and avoid criminality while online,’’ Inuwa said.

He listed other activities lined up to mark the month to include cyber security campaign, capacity building for legislative officers, sensitisation summit, nationwide cyber security awareness campaign and a webinar series.

The NITDA boss also said that the campaign would focus on sub topics such as Securing information assets in the digital economy, Cyber security Career Opportunities as well as encourage youth participation in cyberspace.

According to him, other topics are Child Online Protection: Creating a Cyber-Secure Home for Children and Parents, as well as Protecting Your Online Presence while executing your mandate in the Digital Economy Era.

He said that the agency was sharing simple, easy-to-understand resources and tips to help people ensure safety and security online through its cyber security campaign.

According to him, the campaign involves sharing resources to help you with the skills you need to make more informed decisions when using the internet.

He said that citizens connected to the internet had the responsibility to protect it, adding that the summit would empower Nigerians to own their role in protecting their cyberspace.

“If we all do our part, implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating vulnerable ones, or training employees, our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for all of us.

“Our growing dependence on technology, coupled with the increasing threat of cyber attacks demands greater security in our online world,’’ he said.

Inuwa reiterated that cybercriminals were counterproductive to the efforts to create national economic prosperity and that also limits the drive to achieving a digital economy.

Mr Hakeem Ajibola, a Cyber Security expert, while presenting a paper on `Cyber Security Response to COVID – 19 Pandemic’, advised that all users on online platforms must practice exceptional cyber-hygiene.

Ajibola cautioned that the change of passwords, encryption of all data set, monitor and backup websites periodically should be a regular practice.

Another expert, Mr Sunday Folayan, who presented a paper on `Industry Expectation of Government Action on Policy, Strategy and Enforcement’, said the trend of cyber-attacks needed to be monitored to enable for a mitigation strategy.

Folayan called on the government to enforce standards to forestall attacks, encourage all relevant stakeholders to work in synergy to secure information infrastructures.

“NITDA has said that a secure cyberspace is a criterion to a robust digital economy and when there is a cyber attack, government websites are potential targets,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that every year since 2003, the month of October had been recognised as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).

It was established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, to ensure every individual remains safe and secure online.

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