Cyber security: NITDA collaborate with CIFCFIN on digital forensics

The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa, has assured the President of Chartered Institute of Forensic and Certified Fraud Investigator of Nigeria (CIFCFIN) of the agency’s readiness to collaborate with the institute on digital forensics in order to reinvigorate the tech ecosystem and mitigate cybercrimes in the digital space.

Inuwa gave the assurance while receiving CIFCFIN’s President, Dr. Iliyasu Gashinbak and his team at NITDA headquarters, Abuja.

The DG who decried the dangerous impact cybercrimes have on the economy of a country, organisations and individuals, stressed the need to build capacity for protection against the unscrupulous elements.

“Sometimes in our efforts to digitise services, we lose sight of cybersecurity and only think about security when there is a problem, this shouldn’t be the case, we should always design or digitise with security in mind in whatever we do – that is the only way we can be safe,” Inuwa said.

Inuwa also stated that NITDA has been proactive in taking critical measures toward protecting the cyber space through creating awareness, capacity building and infrastructure.

“Although we are doing our modest best in this regard, we know we cannot succeed in isolation, this explains why we welcome collaborations and work with key stakeholders – individuals, organisations, and other Sovereign Nations to achieve the best result”, the DG noted.

While maintaining that perpetrators of cybercrimes spend a lot of money on research and thrive on information as well as powerful tools to launch attacks, Inuwa alluded to the fact that an organised defence to counter the attacks is non-negotiable.

“We invested in other technologies such as the Digital Fabrication Lab (FABLAB 1.0) and other labs around the country but we are yet to build a Cybersecurity Laboratory.

 “So, when we met the last time, I figured that this would be an opportunity to collaborate in order to build the Cybersecurity Lab.”

“We already have in mind where it will be situated but we will need all relevant stakeholders to be part of it so that the design and implementation of the centre can be fast tracked,” he added.

The DG told the visiting team that whereas NITDA’s investment in the project would be done from next year, the centre would not be named as Forensics Lab but would also incorporate Cybersecurity into its nomenclature to cover other important areas of interest.

While responding to other specific areas of collaboration requests put forward by the leader of the team, which included, training and certification programmes, research and development, information sharing and collaboration platforms, policy development and advocacy, joint workshops and conferences, standardisation and accreditation among others, Inuwa affirmed that the agency engages in a lot of scholarships not only for MSc. & Ph.D. but also in the area of certification in partnership with Coursera.

According to the DG, there have been different cybersecurity training programmes held where staff of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were engaged in both hybrid and physical trainings, adding that this year, thousands of Nigerians have so far been trained both on the Cisco Academy and Coursera platforms.

Inuwa expressed the hope that the collaboration will bring forth improvements in the cybersecurity architecture of the tech ecosystem.

He congratulated the group for the Institute’s Establishment Act, 2022 which was successfully signed into law on 23 December, 2022.

Meanwhile, earlier in his remarks, Dr. Gashinbak highlighted the Institute’s desire to partner with NITDA on Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity.

He appealed for support with computers for NCFFI, technical assistance to deploy their combined e-portal and e-learning platforms as well as postgraduate scheme and scholarship.

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