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Nigeria's financial services, aviation sectors under threat

Nigeria , 16 Nov 2016

Nigeria's financial services, aviation sectors under threat

Experts have expressed concern over the continued exposure of Nigeria's financial services and aviation sector to cybercriminals.

Olakunle Oloruntimehin, General Manager, Cisco Nigeria, believes the country needs to urgently scale up efforts to combat cybercrime through a multi-stakeholder approach involving government, industry, private and civil society organisations.

He noted that the challenge with cybercrime in the financial services sector was brought about by the rise of technology.

"The most popular of cybercrimes in Nigeria is phishing and instances of malware attacks. Cybersecurity experts predict that 80% of Africa's PCs are infected by viruses and malicious software. This is especially concerning considering that 67% of traffic was generated by PCs in 2015 and this amount will increase to 21% by 2020," he said.

He noted that the financial services industry in Nigeria has experienced an increasing evolution of global players over the years who come to the market with sophisticated connected IT solutions – players like Visa and MasterCard spring to mind. Local players, therefore, have had to drastically scale their digital capabilities in order to remain competitive.

"Technology has increased exponentially over the past 10 years and as a result, it has contributed to vulnerability to cybercrimes. Other crimes were perpetuated in the past but cybercrimes require a networking infrastructure to succeed," he said.

Aviation also targeted

An expert has also called attention to the vulnerability of Nigeria's aviation industry to cybercrime. Engineer Ifeanyi Ogochukwu, Chief Technology Strategist at Debbie Mishael Consulting said the nation needs to secure its aviation sector to avoid what he described as grave outcomes, particularly the disruption of the aviation domain.

"Aviation is one of the most complex and integrated systems of information and communications technology (ICT) in the world, the global aviation system a highly technology driven environment is a potential target for a large-scale cyber-attack. The aviation industry keeps expanding, changing, and becoming increasingly connected due to the continual, and rapid integration of new technologies. As technologies rapidly evolve in a frenetic pace, however, so do our adversaries and their threats.

"The Nigerian aviation industry therefore may be at risk without appropriate cybersecurity measures put in place for this evolving threat. It is imperative therefore that the industry maintain the highest levels of confidence in aviation," he said.

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