NCC Launches Incident Response Facility To Check Cybercrimes

TECHDIGEST- The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has inaugurated an incidence response facility aimed at addressing incidences of cybercrimes, protecting telecoms infrastructure, and encouraging increased participation in the nation’s digital economy.

As the Commission’s industry-specific intervention, the objectives of the NCC Center for Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) are aligned to the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) published by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The NCPS requires each sector to establish a computer security incident response team that provides provide requisite services to the stakeholders and players within each sector.

The overall mandate of the NCC-CSIRT is to ensure continuous improvement of processes and communication frameworks to guarantee the secure and collaborative exchange of timely information while responding to cyber threats within the sector.

While commissioning the project in Abuja, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, described the Center as a strategic step in boosting cybersecurity in Nigeria and commended the Board and Management of the Commission for ensuring successful implementation of the project.

Pantami noted that the commissioning of the facility marks an important milestone in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, and described it as a significant measure in the support of national efforts at protecting the information and communication technology infrastructure in the country.

“The creation of the Center is in line with the provisions of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) document published by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), which was recently updated and launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in February 2021.

“In keeping with the principles enshrined in the policy, each sector is expected to establish a sectoral Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) that provides requisite services to the constituents within that sector,” the Minister said.

Earlier, Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, said considering the increasing growth in Internet usage, especially as a consequence of the outbreak of the pandemic, the Commission observed a rise in cyber incidents and criminal activities.

“Thus, the Commission recognises that with the borderless nature and pervasiveness of these incidences, relentless and concerted attention is required to protect Internet users as well as the Critical National Information Infrastructure and ensure they are resilient”, Danbatta said.

The EVC emphasised that the NCC-CSIRT has been structured to operate within the framework of the NCPS and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) to assist the Nigerian communications sector with the management and coordination of cyber security incidents and threats.

He noted that the CSIRT, established as a proactive step towards building trust, and safety needed for growing the digital economy, will initially focus on four main areas of monitoring, incident management, communication, and alert and warning.

Danbatta explained that the key mandates of the CSIRT, which will be achieved through a collaborative effort with relevant stakeholders, organisations, and agencies, include assisting the sector in the defence and response to major cyber threats and attacks targeted at the members within the sector.

The Centre is also to liaise with other sectoral CSIRTs as well as local and international security frameworks to protect the communications sector and the general wellbeing of the Nigerian people.

Also speaking, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Retd), represented by Brig-Gen. Samad Akesode, acknowledged the establishment of NCC-CSIRT as a clear demonstration of the Commission’s resolve to join hands with the federal government in mitigating any risk that will emanate as Nigeria embraces advanced technology to facilitate digital transformation in the country.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu and the Chairman, Committee on Telecommunications in the House of Representatives, Akeem Adeyemi, heads of other agencies in the Ministry, were among the dignitaries that attended the event.

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