Cybersecurity: Expert calls for vigilance in Nigeria as attacks on public infrastructure rise

The Chief Executive Officer of Cybervergent, Adetokunbo Omotosho, has called for more vigilance in Nigeria to protect the country’s critical public infrastructure against cyber-attacks.

Speaking against the backdrop of recent rising attacks on public infrastructure even in developed countries, Omotosho said an attack on public infrastructure such as power grids, communication networks, and financial systems could have severe consequences for the nation’s stability and well-being.

Omotosho, whose company recently pivoted to Cybervergent spoke to NewsTimes on the sideline of the rebranding event.

He said there is a need for constant monitoring and analysis of cyber threats providing valuable intelligence for national security agencies. He also calls for collaboration between the public and private sectors adding that this is crucial to sharing threat intelligence and responding effectively to emerging cyber threats.

Investing in cybersecurity

While noting that investing in robust cybersecurity measures is an investment in prosperity, the Cybervergent CEO said:

  • “Cybersecurity is fundamental in securing critical national infrastructure such as power grids, communication networks, and financial systems. A cyber-attack on these infrastructures could have severe consequences for the nation’s stability and well-being. Cybersecurity is closely tied to the economic health of a nation. Successful cyber-attacks can disrupt national activities leading to economic losses and potential job cuts.”

Cyber-attacks on public infrastructure rising

Earlier this month, Russian state-sponsored hackers breached at least 22 Danish companies operating in the country’s energy sector.

The same week, the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago, the largest telco in the country, also confirmed it got hacked by the RansomExx ransomware gang at the start of October.

US healthcare provider McLaren Health also recently announced that hackers gained access to the private and health data of almost 2.2 million customers after the company suffered a ransomware attack in July.

According to a recent report from Microsoft, more than 120 countries faced cyberattacks over the last year, with Ukraine, Israel, South Korea, and Taiwan topping the list of the most targeted countries. The findings are part of Microsoft’s Digital Defense Report 2023  which used troves of the company’s data to track cybersecurity trends between July 2022 and June 2023.

What the Nigerian government needs to do

Omotosho said the Nigerian government would need to do more to secure the country’s infrastructure and protect it against cyber-attacks. This is even as he noted that the private sector is currently doing better in this regard.

  • “We interface with government institutions and law enforcement institutions locally. Some initiatives are being carried out around protecting critical national infrastructure and government institutions. The government is doing a lot of things, and we are working with government agencies to do some of these things.” 
  • “What you should realize is the government is way behind the private sector in securing digital assets, and that’s a global trend. But what is important is, as the government increasingly talks about digitization, there’s a growing focus on cybersecurity,” he said.

Speaking on why the company changed its name from Infoprive to Cybervergent, Omotosho noted that the company was making a shift away from just providing advisory services towards becoming a technology powerhouse in the cybersecurity landscape, utilizing AI and machine learning algorithms.

He added that Cybervergent represents not just a name change but an embodiment of the convergence of cutting-edge technology, visionary leadership, and its resolute commitment to safeguarding businesses in the digital age on the continent, starting from Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy.

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