‘Nigeria lost N5.5trn to cybercrimes in 10 years’

Deloitte West Africa Chief Strategy Officer Mr Tope Aladenusi has revealed that Nigeria has lost N5.5 trillion to fraud and cybercrimes in 10 years.

Aladenusi, who disclosed this at a recent webinar hosted by FirstBank of Nigeria Limited with the theme: ‘Staying Protected Amidst the Pandemic Chaos’ said the losses from cybercrimes seemed to be more than drug trafficking.

Aladenusi, who doubles as the cyber risk services leader said global losses from cybercrime, was over $ 1 trillion in December, 2020. He attributed rise in cyber frauds to insufficient skilled resources, deficiency in awareness, rapidly changing technology landscape and weakness in cyber security controls.

FirstBank chief information security officer Mr Harrison Nnaji said the COVID-19 pandemic had increased digital access and the internet has remained a force allowing people to stay connected during periods of extended isolation while performing a lot of transactions online.

“People have increasingly relied on the internet to work, transact and stay entertained. But, with this increased use of internet services, the online threats that vulnerable people are exposed to have also increased,” he said.

According to him, online threat actors continue to take advantage of the hysteria created by the pandemic, with a greater focus on exploiting the digital service offerings and consumers fallibility.

He said an increasing number of customers have been obligated to use online transaction platforms, adding that consumers are presently faced with several associated cyber risks.

“FirstBank had invested in human capital, security tools and governance to combat any attempt by the cybercriminals to breach its security posture.

We have ensured that all activities and procedures within the bank adhered to due process at all times; prompt software updates and deployment of the right security applications.”

He listed cybercrimes instruments to include the use of unsecure networks for connection, phishing attacks, call center scam, SIM hijack, and business e-mail compromise, among others.

He advised citizens to back up their data, be cautions of free Wi-Fi, choose unique passwords, and be smart with social media and to check bank statements regularly to avoid hackers.

In her remarks, the founder Cybersafe Foundation Ms. Confidence Staveley stated that it was easier to hack humans than machines because human beings fall for hackers due to their desire, trust, curiosity fear, greed, urgency, panic and excitement.

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