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[#NITEC2016 And Need For Ethical Hackers In Nigeria]

Jun 2016

#NITEC2016 And Need For Ethical Hackers In Nigeria

Team Hacking Battles is one of the scheduled interesting side attractions at Nigeria International Technology Exhibition & Conference (NITEC 2016 @nitecevent) holding at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island between 23rd and 24th of June.

The Organiser intimated that there will be exhibitions of new tech products, team hacking battles and a variety of tech-related games, as well as airtime-winning games using Rafflecopter.com.

Apparently, information technology experts have every reason to be concerned about ‘hacking’ in this environment. Recall, erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan, in May 2015 signed the cybercrime bill into law. Both individuals and corporations now appreciate the fact, inspite the irregularities in the document, cybercrime is defined and legal consequences are attached to any defiance of this law.

But, Deloitte reported that 2015 was an incredible year for cybersecurity in Nigeria; re-echoed in Federal Government’s seemly hapless cry of estimated annual cost of cybercrime to 0.08 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), which represents about N127 billion. President Mohammad Buhari led government do not actually have multiple options with regards how to checkmate this economic sabotage, aside swift implementation of the cyberlaw and re-tooling by way of developing young, talented and cyber-savvy youths to represent our cyber-warriors.

Well, at the start of last year, Deloitte’s annual forecast of Nigeria’s cybersecurity landscape included forecasts that the likelihood of cybersecurity issues were expected to reduce towards the last quarter of the year due to the successful implementation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) exercise; an initiative powered by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

As predicted, Chairman of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NEFF) who is also Director, Banking and Payment System Department, CBN; Mr. Dipo Fatokun, reported during the forum’s annual dinner that, the loss arising from electronic payment fraud had fallen by 63% and there had been a reduction of 45.98% in attempted online fraud by the end of 2015 as against the beginning of the same year, thanks to the successful implementation of the BVN; a commendable initiative implemented to secure Nigeria’s payment system in 2015.

Nevertheless, Deloitte sported another ‘leprous hand’, because, the 2015 forecast also indicated “higher risk of current and former employees or contractors resorting to cybercrime as a means to maintain their standard of living. During the course of the year, forensic specialists were kept busy (hopefully with pockets full) as several companies had to engage digital forensic specialists to investigate cybercrime perpetrated by various suspects who are largely made up of employees and former employees of the victim organizations”.

In 2015 the national dailies published several screaming headlines on allegations of hacking attempts on the websites of public institutions and political parties. Hope we still recall the reported hack and de-facing of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) website in March 2015 and also that of the Lagos state government in December 2015; the Nigerian Army website and host of others.

We are now been warned by Deloitte perhaps, “2015 segued into 2016 and the cybersecurity journey of hacks, attacks and triumphs still continue”. A country like China trains no less than a hundred high-skilled ethical hackers who join the ‘national defence’ team against external aggressions. Whether we like it or not, international economical and political supremacy battles are shifting to the internet.

The solution lies in developing local hacktivism and recognition of Nigerian Hackers. So, #nitec2016 is in line with the call for “more focus on the growth of local home grown hackers”, where “both ethical and unethical sects will gain more recognition”.

It has not been all bad for Nigeria, as two Nigerian teams represented Africa at the 2015 Global Cyberlympics Finals Competition; a worldwide international hacking competition to increase education and ethics in information security.

Thus, @nitecevent understands the imperative of projecting Nigeria as a hub of the best cyber defense team in Africa, because Western style hack attempts by terrorists will continue to grow in Nigeria and the Africa at large, but local hacktivists should position the ethical players to take it a notch higher to make hack attempts on government and private institution infrastructures a herculean task for both internal and external invaders.

Therefore, there is every need to both private and public sectors and the international technology community give #nitec2016 deserved support in re-engineering the African technological ecosystem for greater impact on the continent’s GDP.

Likewise, through plenary sessions and exhibitions the worth of our technology system will be showcased to thousands of attendees; exhibition booth (2 days); placement of brand logo on event brochure and website; complimentary wifi, place web banners and share branded gifts at booths.

And the renowned speakers will spark deepened conversation and help through up new innovations that will help Nigeria and indeed, Africa, on digitization. See You There!


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