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Cyber Attacks

NITDA Preaches Vigilance Against Cyber Attacks, predicts massive Cyber-attacks on Banks

Stories By Rabiyat Usman with agency report

National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), private sector and the public to be vigilant and proactive ahead of possible cyber-attacks in 2018. The Director-General of the agency, Dr. Isa Pantami, made the call in a statement issued recently in Abuja. Pantami said that the cyber-attacks would be targeted at the banking, health, power systems and critical national infrastructures.

“The agency’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT), in conjunction with other industry stakeholders have intercepted some signals of potential cyber-attacks.

“This is in their efforts at ensuring a safe and secure cyberspace. “These attacks are targeting banking, health and other systems, power and transportation systems as well as other critical national infrastructure. “In this regard, the need for all to be vigilant and proactive as far as security is concerned cannot be over-emphasized,” Pantami said. The director -general, however, said that efforts should be intensified at ensuring that any data was encrypted, particularly any sensitive or personal data.

He said that the public should ensure that networks were fully secure by using wired network thereby protecting them from possible hackers’ attempt at using Wi-Fi security lapses to remotely break into computer systems. “Where Wi-Fi network is used, ensure that up to date encryption standard is in use and turn off the Service Set Identifier (SSID) broadcasting function on the wireless router if not needed. “Ensure that free Wi-Fi connections as well as other wireless connections such as Bluetooth or infrared ports are not used unless where necessary.

“Ensure that operating systems and other software applications are regularly updated with the latest patches. “Ensure that anti-malware protection is installed on all IT systems as this will help in protecting your organisation’s network from potential attacks through virus-laden software and e-mail attachments. “All security software should be adjusted to scan compressed or archived files,” Pantami said. He said that there should be appropriate guidelines in place for connecting personal devices into the organisation’s network.

According to him, the public should ensure the use of credential vaults and multi-factor authentication instead of user passwords. “Ensure that the organisation’s data and critical files are regularly backed up. “Above all, ensure that there is an organisation-wide enlightenment campaign, awareness and measures put in place to deal with cyber security threats,” he said. Pantami stressed that the agency was working with all relevant stakeholders to come up with effective ways of adequately protecting the Nigerian cyberspace. He, however, called on the citizens to support the agency by doing their best at protecting themselves as well as the information and systems under their care.

 

…predicts massive Cyber-attacks on Banks

National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has raised concern over imminent cyberattacks on banks and some other key establishments in the country by hackers. NITDA said in a statement recently that cyber criminals or hackers may launch a cyberattack on some Nigerian banks, health institutions and other government agencies very soon.

The Director General of NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Panta-mi, said there was need for all stakeholders to take ur-gent and solid precautionary measures. Dr Pantanmi said the agency’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT), in conjunction with other industry stakeholders had already intercepted the plans by the hackers.

He said: “In their efforts at ensuring a safe and secure cyberspace, CERRT, in conjunction with other industry stakeholders have intercepted some signals of potential cyber-attacks targeting banking, health and other sys-tems, power and transportation systems, as well as other critical national infrastructure.”

“We therefore recommend the following precautionary measures: Efforts should be intensified at ensuring that any data is encrypted, particularly any sensitive or per-sonal data. “Ensure that networks are fully secure through the use of wired network thereby protecting them from possible hackers’ attempt at using Wi-Fi security lapses to remotely break into computer systems.

“Where Wi-Fi network is used, ensure that an up to date encryption standard is in use and turn off the service set identifier (SSID) broadcasting function on the wireless router if it is not needed ensure that free Wi-Fi connec-tions as well as other wireless connections such as Bluetooth or infrared ports are not used unless where neces-sary.

“Ensure that operating systems and other software appli-cations are regularly updated with the latest patches ensure that antimalware protection is installed on all IT systems as this will help in protecting your organisation’s network from potential attacks through virus-laden software and email attachments.”According to the DG, all security software should be ad-justed to scan compressed or archived files, explaining that it is also important that appropriate guidelines are in place for connecting personal devices into the organisa-tion’s network, use of credential vaults and multi-fact.

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