Danbatta highlights telecom regulator’s role in combating e-fraud

TECHDIGEST – The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has highlighted the roles of the commission in combating electronic fraud in the telecom sector and indeed Nigeria’s economy.

Prof. Danbatta gave the highlight today while presenting a keynote address titled ‘Combating E-Fraud on Telecom Platforms and Building Consumer Confidence in the Digital Economy’ at the 2nd Quarter 2023 Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) in Lagos.

He said as a regulator, the Commission must establish comprehensive legal frameworks and standards that mandate sound security practices for telecom operators. These legal frameworks, according to him must focus on data protection, privacy and incident response, ensuring that operators are held accountable for any lapses in security on their respective networks.

“The NCC as the regulator of the communications sector has a crucial role to play in combatting e-fraud,” he said.

He disclosed that part of the efforts of the NCC in combating e-fraud include type-approving communications equipment to ensure that they conform to global standards and are interoperable with various relevant technologies.

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In this regard, the Commission collaborates with Mobile Network Operators to ensure the safety of their networks and conducts regular audits and assessments to verify compliance and encourage a culture of cybersecurity within the industry.

“In accordance with the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, telecom operators have a responsibility to ensure the security and integrity of their networks and to prevent it from being used in, or in relation to, the commission of any offense under any law in operation in Nigeria,” he added.

Meanwhile speaking to Journalists on the sideline, Prof. Danbatta admitted that with the increasing uptake of digital financial services and the advent of disruptive technologies, the issue of cybersecurity has become increasingly important.

He advised telecom operators to invest in robust infrastructure, employ state-of-the-art security measures, and conduct regular audits to identify and address vulnerabilities promptly.

“Operators should implement stringent authentication protocols, two-factor authentication and encryption mechanisms to safeguard customer data and prevent unauthorized access,” he advised.

Answering questions from Journalists on the concern about how personal data is collected, stored, shared and exploited, the former University lecturer stated that fortunately, NDEPS 2020-2030 adequately addresses the protection of telecom consumers against the threats of cybercrime, encouraging them to embrace digital finance and supporting them to contribute to the Digital Economy.

“Pillar #6 of the NDEPS, which deals with soft infrastructure, has proven to be proactive. The soft infrastructure pillar focuses on strengthening public confidence in using digital technologies and participation in the Digital Economy.

The pillar will address the importance of cybersecurity and other standards, frameworks, and guidelines that encourage citizens to embrace a digital culture. Data privacy and the deployment of technologies like the public key infrastructure are addressed in this pillar,” he explained.

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