The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly transformed how we interact as individuals and in groups. In particular, there has been an appreciable migration of several meetings, lectures and other forms of interactions to online platforms.
Furthermore, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM notes that the implicit requirement of social distancing has increased the adoption of online platforms and e-payment systems. This, no doubt, he said, is a positive development that will support our implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria. However, this migration to home-based unsecure digital platforms, often with outdated security systems, can make users more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
The Cybersecurity Teams of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (MCDE) have intercepted the following cases, amongst others:
- Phishing attacks aimed at infecting systems or extracting sensitive information;
- Campaigns that defraud citizens by offering essential products and services at suspicious prices;
- Fake news and misinformation aimed at spreading panic, creating instability and promoting distrust; and
- Video-teleconferencing (VTC) hijacking (also called “Zoom-bombing”).
The Honourable Minister of MCDE urges everyone to be extra-cautious and reinforce security measures while interacting online, especially when carrying out banking transactions online. It is important to observe basic cyberspace rules such as:
- Ignoring suspicious online offers;
- Being circumspect in sharing VTC details;
- Using complex passwords;
- Keeping software up to date; and
- Refraining from sharing unverified information.
The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to keeping Nigerians safe online. To this end, we were informed that the Ministry and its parastatals will issue regular cybersecurity advisories.