By Emmanuel Solomon
The Nigerian Army has commissioned a cyber warfare centre to fight all kinds of cyber criminality on its cyber space.
According to Lt General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff, the centre became necessary in order to protect its data base and important information as well as curbing online radicalisation and other terrorist activities taking place on the internet.
The Operation centre which is located at the Army Headquarters, Abuja, would fight fake news targeted at the Army with counter narratives and cyber operations, Buratai noted. The Army boss added that the establishment of the centre was in line with his vision to have a professional and responsive Nigerian Army in discharging its constitutional duties.
He tasked operators of the centre to equip themselves with digital forensic capabilities to enable them handle cases of identity theft and generate immediate incidence response.
“I hereby urge the staff of the command to perform their task with optimum dedication to ensure that our vision for the command and the Nigerian Army at large is attained, he said’’.
The cyber space which has become the fifth domain of warfare after land, sea, air and space has caused individuals, organisations, countries and financial institutions huge loses and deep pains by easily exploiting their fortunes through malicious and manipulated intent or fake news.
Nigeria banks amidst other big organisations have been the worst victims of cyber attacks. The banks have in the last five years lost billions of dollars through cyber nefarious activities.
The world has become a small village with the invention of the internet. It has created a new public space and community which is no longer linked with place or time, and has become a place where information has no boundaries any longer.
The increasing wave of cyber crimes in Nigeria has become a thing of worry because her cyber space is not immune to several threats and attacks taking place on the internet.
Presently it is estimated that about 60 per cent of Nigerian organisations suffer cyber attacks daily. Unfortunately, there is no strata of the society that is not involved in this hydra-headed global problem, unfortunately, including some security agents as alleged. With over 300 countries connected to the internet, cyber crimes have become a global headache for individuals, organisations, financial institutions et cetera.
Earlier this year, cyber security organisations such as Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), SECUREX West Africa and other stakeholders gathered in Lagos to brain storm on the way forward for the Nigerian cyber domain because of the increasing attacks by cyber criminals. Stakeholders at the conference established that there was need for the government to invest in information technology and pay more attention in cyber security, because this is an era where technology has become a life-line to everything. They maintained that there is need to have data protection law and upgrade the existing 2015 cyber crime laws, which has so many loopholes with no strong hold on offenders. The laws have also been outdated.
Recently the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBNs) convened a cyber security conference in Abuja to Marshal new ways to deals with cyber crime menace. The apex bank renewed its move by launching a counter attack in the Nigeria’s banking space by partnering with some international financial organisations including JP Morgan Chase, South Africa Reserve and United States Federal Reserve to curb these cyber monsters.
According to a 2016 CBN reports on internet electronic frauds, deposit money banks in Nigeria lost about N2.19 billion to fraudsters through electronic channels.