How #EndSARS Protest Exposed Nigeria’s Cybersecurity Vulnerability
TECH DIGEST – The President of Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), Mr. Remi Afon has narrated how the recently held #EndSARS protest across Nigeria exposed the country’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
Mr. Remi, who gave the narrative in his opening remark today during a free cybersecurity awareness seminar, organized by the association, said a lot of hacktivists and other Twitter users exploited the #EndSARS protest that lasted for about three weeks to steal sensitive information both from the government and private citizens.
He cited instances of many Twitter users changing their handles to Anonymous with the sole aim of increasing their activities and ultimately, get access to data that can be used to cause havoc.
“Two significant events happened this year that have actually impacted cybersecurity awareness. One is global, which is the Covid-19 pandemic and other is local, which is the #EndSARS protest that ended last week in Nigeria. These events clearly have serious cybersecurity impacts ,” he said at the seminar organized to create awareness as part of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is observed every October.
Calling on the government and other institutions to step up their cybersecurity resilience by collaborating with experts in the area of cyber security, Mr. Remi argued that the #EndSARS protest sparked a lot of upward trend in cybercrime, exposing the vulnerability of government and other institutions in the country.
He also believes that cybersecurity experts need to go away from the conventional delivery methods that they are used to in creating cybersecurity awareness and adopt a more reliable online delivery method, stressing that as experts, they need to think out of the box.
Meanwhile, Mr. Adeboye Adegoke, a Senior Program Manager at Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) has called on the government institutions, especially the health sector to have what he tagged ‘Attitudinal Change’ in the area of data privacy.
Stressing that cybersecurity should be more of approach and attitude than technicality, Mr. Adegoke noted that the health sector in Nigeria is yet to grasp what it means to conceive data of health care users.
“It is a matter of culture and attitude. Health care practitioners must be made to understand data of health care users is kept private,” he said.
He also challenged the associations like the Nigeria Security Experts Association of Nigeria to engage the health sector in creating awareness about cybersecurity. He suggested that standards based on Nigeria and International laws should be created to serve as guilds as to how to handle information of health care users in health institutions.
The free cybersecurity awareness seminar, organized by the association to enlighten Nigerians on key cybersecurity themes like digital rights, data privacy, child online safety, social engineering and computer security.