Friday, September 17, 2021

Cyber Security: NITDA, NISS to train forensic experts

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The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, and the National Institute for Security Studies, NISS, are partnering to improve manpower in forensics in Nigeria to curb the menace of cyber-attacks.

The Director General, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, disclosed this while receiving the Commandant, NISS,  Saheed Adeleke, on a courtesy visit at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarters.

The DG applauded the commandant of NISS and his management team for taking the initiative to seek collaboration with NITDA in making Nigeria a better and safer place to live.

Mr Inuwa noted that most government and private processes were prone to hacks and cyber-attacks, and it has become imperative to improve on capacity building for security agencies and private outfits to produce more forensic experts in combating these crimes.

The NITDA boss said: “The trending COVID-19 pandemic has forced the digitilisation of processes and has disrupted the normal way of life globally.

“This has led to increase in cyber-attacks and crime waves, necessitating collaborative efforts of relevant organs of government to ensure safe, secure and digitally safe country.”

He opined that the two organisations have what it takes to proffer strategic initiatives which would help in safeguarding the lives and properties of all citizens of Nigeria and sustaining the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS.

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The Director General explained that the Agency usually collaborates with private and government institutions because, according to him, no one can operate in isolation. “In governance, there’s no way you can work in silos and expect success.

“The world is going digital now and for any objective driven organization, they must embrace digitization”, the DG said.

He mentioned that NITDA has set up Digital Transformation Technical Working Group for MDA’s that oversees the entire digital architecture whereby valuable information are shared through relevant platforms.

Regulatory Instruments

On regulatory instruments put in place by NITDA to support a digital economy, he reiterated that  Nigeria Data Protection Regulation, NDPR, stood out as a unique instrument targeted at protecting the ‘oil’ of digital economy which is data.

“I am sure you manage a lot of people’s data at your institute and NDPR, which is an initiative by NITDA, which will give clear directions on how to manage people’s information and data,” the DG stated

He aligned with the NISS commandant that the security of the nation is a collective responsibility and this, also falls under one of the Agency’s mandates, which is securing the country’s cyberspace.

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“One of our mandates is to use information technology to improve national security and this cannot be taken for granted because at NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, (SRAP 2021-2024), cyber security is one of the 7 strategic pillars we are working on”, he said.

The Director General averred that it is almost impossible to separate the physical and digital world because data received from the digital world can be used to depict and influence the subject physically.

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“In intelligence gathering, trailing a suspect is rather archaic presently because having access to the person’s mobile phone will yield faster and more accurate results”, the DG stated.

Mr Inuwa restated that the Agency was investing hugely on cyber security by building capacity to have wholistic insights into what is happening in the dark web so as to be proactive in helping the nation in securing her cyberspace.

He also disclosed that the Agency is willing to collaborate with NISS on areas of emerging technologies because according to him, every technology has its perils and promises, adding that “As a nation, we need to build capacities to achieve these promises and avoid the perils.”

While assuring his visitors of utmost support and collaboration, he mentioned that on intelligence gathering, the Agency has the tools and investments which could be used to get valuable information from the dark web and come up with intelligent recommendations.

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The Commandant, Mr Adeleke stated that the Institute is currently running its 14th series flagship programme which has 66 participants undergoing various courses from agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Nigerian Customs Service, Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, and many others.

Mr Adeleke said, “Managing security of the nation should be a collective responsibility which is why we would like to tap into and collaborate with you, especially in areas of cybersecurity, in order to achieve optimum security for the nation.”

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He expressed his willingness to train some staff of the Agency in any of their offered security courses while inviting the DG to pay a working visit to their facilities at the Lower Usuma Dam, Bwari, to enjoy the serenity of their learning environment.

A 4-man committee drawn from the two organisations was set to look at areas of mutual collaboration and make necessary recommendations for the benefit of the citizenry.

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