Microsoft Chief, Akin Banuso Talks About Safeguarding Nigeria’s Digital Economy from Cyber Risk

Cybersecurity and Risk Mitigation- Collaboration is the Only Way Out By Austin Okere

Robust and dynamic strategies with the correct technology suite are required to successfully defend against the ongoing threat of cybercrime

Akin Banuso

As more individuals gain access to technology, the number of connected devices will increase exponentially. According to Strategy Analytics, the number of devices connected globally by 2025 will be at 38.6 billion, likely increasing to 50 billion connected devices by 2030.

While these numbers look impressive, serving as proof that digital transformation is indeed captivating the world – each new connected device presents a new opportunity for cybercriminals to strike. This in turn will only perpetuate the increase in the global cost of cybercrime annually.

According to RiskIQ, the cost of cyberattacks per minute will reach $11.4 million by 2021. 

“When we look at Nigeria, according to the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) as of July this year, 199, 307,796 active phone lines existed. Active internet subscriptions were at 147,148,307 and over 80, 215,614 broadband connections were confirmed. More families, organisations and individuals are able to connect and collaborate – gaining access to unlimited resources online in the cloud”

Akin Banuso, Country Manager at Microsoft Nigeria

Off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many economies suffering and some making their way back to recovery, its logical to assume that now is the time cybercriminals will see as valuable – crafting new and improved tactics to attack organisations of all sizes.

Akin Banuso Talks About Safeguarding Nigeria’s Digital Economy from Cyber Risk
Akin Banuso

Governments and ministries must now, more than ever realise that the fundamental difference between digitally competitive nations has less to do with technology, but more to do with the transformative strategies that complement digital-savvy leadership, digitally skilled citizens and collaborative digital culture.

Evidence of this has been seen through the Microsoft Security Teams monitoring of 8 trillion signals – all of which come from the range of its products, services and feeds. Through this, the team has identified multiple COVID-19-themed email campaigns that deliver the powerful credential-stealing program Agent Tesla.

“The key message here is, adopting technology solutions that allow for governments and organisations to create strategies that speak directly to their needs, while keeping them safe and secure against breach attempts and the like,” Akin said.

To do this, organisations must first take into consideration the following – the public cloud has become a cybersecurity game-changer that has made moving to the cloud a security imperative for most enterprises. Cloud technology enables for organisations like Microsoft to take your signal, intelligence, and operational experience and use it at scale to help your organisation be more secure through hardening of software, devices and services.

Cloud-powered, intelligent security solutions help protect users, data and everything in between, which benefits organisations of all sizes who use these products and services.

When selecting solutions for safeguarding against cyberthreats as part of your strategy, its recommended that information protection, security management, threat protection, and identity and access management capabilities be part of the offering.

“When we look at information protection, solutions like Azure confidential computing provide a secure platform for protecting the confidentiality and integrity of data in use – further allowing customers to input policy-based controls so employees cannot send, use or remove sensitive information inappropriately. Securing the enterprise is not just about external attackers, but also managing insider risk.”

Akin Banuso

Monitoring networks, adjusting policies and updating software is essential to remain resilient and adaptive to threats. Solutions like Microsoft Secure Score  is the only enterprise-class dynamic report card for cybersecurity. The Azure Security Centre provides customers with a single unified dashboard granting full visibility of their Azure estates.

The majority of data breaches happen because of compromised passwords following phishing attacks, which is why it is crucial that organizations and government agencies must know who can access information and under what circumstances. Solutions like Authenticator provide multi-factor sign-in methods and real-time risk assessments that ensure access to sensitive data is controlled appropriately without hindering customer productivity.

“When considering a robust and adaptable cybersecurity strategy, it is important to consider what the specific needs of your organization are and adopt a solution suite that addresses this. Everyone has a part to play in the overall protection of economies at large and if the correct measures are in place, from the top down, then we would have made process in combating threats,” concludes Akin.

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