‘In Ten Years Nigeria Lost N5.5tn To Cybercrime’

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

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

He noted that as of December 2020, global losses from cybercrime was over $ 1 trillion.

Aladenusi, who is also the Cyber Risk Services Leader attributed rise in cyber frauds to insufficient skilled resources, deficiency in awareness, rapidly changing technology landscape and weakness in cyber security controls.

In his remarks, the FirstBank Chief Information Security Officer, Mr. Harrison Nnaji, said the COVID-19 pandemic had increased digital access.

He further said since the beginning of the pandemic, 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,” Nnaji 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.

Nnaji, 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.

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

Continuing, he added: “The escalated risks had led to general distrust and apathy, loss of resources, loss of interest in e-payments and financial inclusion. The escalated risks had increased stress on firms trying to rationalise dwindling funds to fight cyber-attacks. The bank had enhanced measures to combat breaches.

“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,” Nnaji said.

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

In her remarks, the founder, Cybersafe Foundation, Ms. Confidence Staveley, asserted that it was easier to hack humans than machines.

Staveley noted that human beings fall for hackers due to desire, fear, greed, urgency, panic, excitement, trust and curiosity.