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How Digitization, Improved Digitization, Is Costing Us, Nigeria Heavily

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Improved Digitization
A look of loss; image, courtesy of Sky News used for illustration purposes only

The singsong all along has been digitization, improved digitization, but now the penchant is leaving a heavy toll on all of us, not just individuals, but firms, organisations and corporate Nigeria.

More and more people have embraced different technological devices for official and personal uses, but more embrace of Information Communication Technology (ICT) generally, and higher forms of digitization, investigation has shown, has led to increase in cyber attacks.

Where people have not lost personal valuables, they have lost huge assets as members of a group or the society.

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Local and international security agencies have raised the alarm that, with digitization criminals are making a kill on innocent people, hacking into their personal digital devices like phones and computers and even penetrating corporate ones.

They steal valuable information including passwords, enabling them to steal and blackmail.

In other words, improved digitalization amongst others, has implied increase in the risk of a cyberattack with far-reaching consequences has risen.

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READ ALSO: CBN Issues Ultimatum to OFIs on Cybersecurity Compliance

The attacks justifies the prediction of the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria of a rise in insider threats for the country in 2024, driven by an increase in the malicious use of Artificial Intelligence.

Part of its forecast for the year continued surge in mis/disinformation, ransomware attacks, attacks against vulnerable government’s online assets, crypto scams, benefit and employment scams and information and credential theft.

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Others, it said are AI-enabled threats, impersonation scams, insider threats, cyber hacktivism, and web defacement.

“Amid these economic hardships, cybercrime has become an increasingly attractive option, offering substantial illegal earnings. Businesses and organisations must adopt various measures to combat this growing threat”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has just reiterated the reality of the dangers of more or improved digitization.

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According to the fund, cyberattacks have more than doubled since the pandemic, and while companies have historically suffered relatively modest direct losses from cyberattacks, some have experienced a much heavier toll.

Mentioning the US credit reporting agency Equifax, as paying more than $1 billion in penalties after a major data breach in 2017 that affected about 150 million consumers, it concluded that  the risk of extreme losses from cyber incidents is increasing.

READ ALSO: Why Terrorists, Bandits Still Demand Ransom Via Phone Despite NIN…

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“Such losses could potentially cause funding problems for companies and even jeopardize their solvency.

“The size of these extreme losses has more than quadrupled since 2017 to $2.5 billion. And indirect losses like reputational damage or security upgrades are substantially higher.

“The financial sector is uniquely exposed to cyber risk. Financial firms—given the large amounts of sensitive data and transactions they handle—are often targeted by criminals seeking to steal money or disrupt economic activity. Attacks on financial firms account for nearly one-fifth of the total, of which banks are the most exposed.

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According to the IMF, citing its survey of central banks and supervisory authorities, cybersecurity policy frameworks, especially in emerging market and developing economies, often remain insufficient.

“For example, only about half of countries surveyed had a national, financial sector-focused cybersecurity strategy or dedicated cybersecurity regulations.

“To strengthen resilience in the financial sector, authorities should develop an adequate national cybersecurity strategy accompanied by effective regulation and supervisory capacity that should encompass”

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Alarmed by the rate of such threats, the Nigerian police force recently enlightened Nigerians on 11 ways they can protect themselves from cyber-attacks.

READ ALSO: New Electricity Tariff: Ibadan Electricity ‘Band A’ Areas [FULL LIST]

Using its National Crime Cyber Centre, the Police released on Instagram, tips to help make our exposure to improved digitization safe.

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The useful tips include

  1. Use Strong Passwords:
  2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
  3. Beware of Phishing
  4. Update Software Regularly
  5. Shop from Reputable Websites
  6. Be Wary of Online Offers
  7. Protect Personal Information, and
  8. Secure Your Devices:
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