Worried by several reports revealing shortage of skillset in cyber security in Nigeria and other African countries, experts have adduced ways out of the challenge.
In a recent report published by Demadiur and Serianu there are only 3,500 professional cyber security in Nigeria while sub Saharan Africa has 13,500 which are far less of number required by organisations to equip them against cyber-attacks.
“Your organization simply may not be able to find enough qualified people to help drive a successful cybersecurity and privacy program,” the report stated.
This raises the question, how do we address this problem of trained manpower in cybersecurity space where cyber criminals use sophisticated tools in attacks?
Offering insight in this regard, Dr. Seyi Akinderinde, co-founder and chief technical officer, Digital Encode, said that the shortage of skillset in cyber security is not limited to Nigeria alone.
“It is global. I think more can be done by the organized private sector by setting up Cyber security training hubs in the computer science departments of universities and polytechnics and encouraging would-be graduates to take up the offer,” he said.
Also responding, Jude Ozinegbe, chief operating officer, Vault Bridge, said that Cyber security should be infused into Nigeria educational curriculum, from the college to the tertiary levels, “companies and relevant government agencies should encourage hackathons and train IT personnel in various fields of Cyber security.”
On involvement of law enforcement agents in cyber -attacks, Akinderinde said Nigeria law enforcement has to rise up to the occasion. “There’s need for all round capacity building and development in the areas of cyber -crime and internet fraud. They need to know about the latest tools and techniques in order to combat cyber -attacks.
Ozinegbe advocated for a “Cyber Task Force” made up of highly skilled professionals, perhaps as a unit in the Police Force, DSS and other relevant agencies, who are very involved in forensic investigations, and not “people who assume anyone with an iPhone is a criminal.”
“After setting up and adequately training such personnel across agencies, a massive awareness campaign should be carried out, informing the public on what to do and where to go in the case of a data breach or a cyber-attack.
“These ‘authorized personnel’ can also conduct or supervise period penetration tests for organizations”.
They also spoke on the erroneous perception of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
According to Akinderinde, “there is blockchain and there is crypto. People should not confuse both. Blockchain has far more use cases as a decentralized, distributed technology and isn’t limited to crypto. Education is needed because people need to know the difference.
“Blockchains aren’t limited to financial use cases. You can have them in supply chain, education, voting, ticketing and in any field you want transparency.”
For Ozinegbe, “Blockchain is the infrastructure on which crypto currency is built, it’s like a highway that caters for all kinds of automobiles: Trucks, SUVs, Sedan, Bikes, name it. A wrong ideology, due to early adopters has made the generality of people think Blockchain and Cryptocurrency are the same, it is like saying, a highway and a car are the same.
“Just as you have different types of automobiles on one highway is how we have different services on the blockchain. Today, Blockchain addresses issues related to Fintech – obviously the first application, that’s why it’s very popular in the financial sector.”