The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has sought partnership with the Nigeria Police Force to ensure that public and private organisations comply with Nigeria’s Data Protection Regulation, NDPR.
The Director General, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa stated this when he led his management team on a courtesy visit to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba at Louis Edet House, Abuja.
Mr Inuwa said cybersecurity has become essential in today’s world as the society was more reliant on digital technology, which paved way for sophistication and relentless attacks by cybercriminals.
According to him, there is apparently no sign that the trend will slow down anytime soon.
“Therefore, there is need for the collaboration between NITDA and the Force to tackle the menace by ensuring that organisations protect the personal information of all citizens at their disposal,” he said.
The DG lamented that in recent times, private individuals, private organisations, government establishments, military and paramilitary have all been targets of data breach due to high rate of data leakage on the internet.
“Reports from our cybersecurity monitoring platforms have indicated that activities of cybercriminals have increased exponentially; data leakage that can lead to identity theft are now being posted on social media and even auctioned for sale on the dark web.
“It is important to note that this is a global phenomenon, nations around the world are reporting increasing numbers of cyber espionage, BEC Scams, Identity theft, amongst numerous other cybercrimes,” he noted.
He stated that the borderless nature of the cyberspace has necessitated that NITDA stays a step ahead of these cybercriminals.
“Especially as the country begin to adopt digital economy, hence it is important that Nigeria build resilience against these threats to ensure trust in the system.”
While commenting on laws that empower the Agency, particularly NITDA Act 2007, Inuwa stated that the agency is paying attention to cybercrime and cybersecurity, and this has led to the establishment of NITDA’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team, CERRT.
The response team will provide support for Ministries Department and Agencies, in tackling cybersecurity incidents.
Mr Inuwa explained that the Agency publishes Information Assurance Guidelines for MDAs towards ensuring that they implement the minimum controls required to safeguard their information assets; and the enactment of Nigeria Data Protection Regulation, NDPR.
The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation would ensure that personal data of data subjects are protected.
“Also, that mechanisms are set in place to ensure that violations to NDPR provisions are appropriately investigated and appropriate sanctions applied,” Mr Inuwa restated.
He appreciated the support offered by the Force by attaching Officers to the NITDA Regulations Compliance Monitoring Team.
Explaining NITDA’s mandate on IT Project Clearance, the DG stated that “to reiterate the importance of NITDA’s role in IT Procurements in Government, during his speech at the e-Nigeria International Conference, Exhibition and Awards 2018, Muhammadu Buhari directed all Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) to ensure that their IT projects are duly cleared by NITDA and directed that defaulter should be reported to government for sanctioning.”
He also sought for the Force’s support towards ensuring that young Nigerians with genuine IT businesses are allowed to operate and, where necessary, adequately supported in carrying out their lawful businesses.
“The critical role of Start-ups in our journey towards a Digital Nigeria cannot be overemphasised. However, some Tech Start-ups have reported being harassed by some Law Enforcement Agencies, with some having their IT systems confiscated,” he said.
The NITDA Boss further explained: “This has negatively impacted on their business operations as well as the economy. NITDA maintains a database of genuine Start-ups with verifiable business ventures and duly registered with the Agency. Access to such a database can be granted to the Force when need arises.”
Mr Usman Alkali Baba appreciated NITDA’s visit to the Police’s corporate headquarters and gave assurance of the Force’s support towards realising the Agency’s mandate.
He also reiterated the need for synergy and collaboration with NITDA, stating that no organisation can effectively operate without leveraging digital technologies, and NITDA.
He adds that being the regulator in the country, NITDA is central to the activities of the Force.