‘Why cyber security should be priortised in Nigeria’

Temi-Akinwumi---CopyTemitope Akinwumi, an engineer, is the Executive Vice President of Top Group Technologies in Maryland, United States of America. Her first degree was Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from University of District of Columbia in Washington DC, followed by a Masters in Software Engineering and another Masters in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Policies both from University of Maryland, USA. In this online interview with ADEYEMI ADEPETUN, she spoke on the need for economies, including Nigeria to make cyber security a priority issue in governance. Excerpts….

Can we get a better understanding of what Cyber security is?

Cyber security is the process of applying security measures to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, information and services. Cyber security assure the protection of assets, which includes data, equipment, buildings, and most importantly, humans. The goal of cyber security is to protect data both in transit and at rest.

Why is it necessary for a business?

Every business has sensitive information, digital equipment such as smart phones, laptops, desktops, servers that need to be protected from unintended or unauthorized access, change or destruction. Through cybersecurity, we prevent theft of equipment and protect the data on that equipment, so there is no security breach that could allow hackers full access to both data and equipment.

Is there any conflict between emerging technologies such as social media and cyber security?

Absolutely, as companies get exposed to new technologies their level of exposure to cyber-attack increases, there is need to protect information vulnerable online if no measures are put in place as protection against cyber hackers, because most of the time hackers are online with the goal to find networks to launch attacks on.

Is there alternative to cyber security?

There is no alternative to cyber security, it’s either your information is protected or it is not, there is no middle ground and when you are not cyber safe now, attack is inevitable.

Any benefit of cyber security to economic development?

The benefit of Cyber security to our economy is immense; it introduces holistic approach and model that showcase its benefits through countermeasures for addressing sophisticated threats and cyber-attacks that provide ways to reduce overall cost to an organization in addressing sophisticated threats that might otherwise have an adverse effect on the economy.

In specific, how can it help to reduce corruption in our society?

Persistent reports have shown foreign agents penetrating critical infrastructures, computer compromise facilitating industrial espionage, and faceless hackers emptying thousands of bank accounts, but with proper cybersecurity countermeasures in place, sensitive business information are protected, fraudulent data breach, financial data manipulation such as credit card, bank account, trade secrets, investment and stock market information are reduced.
Can you shed light on your job experience in the USA?

I am a software and cybersecurity engineer. My background includes 20 years’ experience in the information technology industry. I have supported several government agencies and major corporations in the United States working on critical projects for many
years while utilizing wealth of experience supporting the information technology infrastructure.
Top Group Technologies is a group of companies located in Maryland, United States of America. We are focused on software development, ICT integration, cyber security and manpower training.

How can your firm help businesses to be cyber secured?

Our company can training your business on ways to be cyber safe including but are not limited to, access control measures, awareness training, audit and accountability, risk assessment, penetration testing, vulnerability management, and security assessment
and authorization.

How affordable can this be, especially for an economy that has larger numbers of SMEs?

The benefits of protecting valuable assets and sensitive business information against cyber-attack cannot be over emphasized, and the associated cost cannot be compared to the cost of damage assessment and recovery after an attack has occurred, in fact,
most organization may never recover from such attacks. Many victims has experienced loss of intellectual properties, business confidential information, stock market manipulation, disruption of services, reputational damages and lack of trust from customers.

Therefore, adoption of cyber security measure is essential to protect valuable assets against cyber-attack.

Can the competence gained from you be suitable to totally combat cyber threat now and in the future?

Yes, we provide different programs on how to combat cyber threat by putting countermeasures in place to increase the security of priceless assets, data and information through seminars, symposiums, conferences, and workshops.

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