The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that the National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) will soon be established, to curb cybercrime.

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Telecommunications Mast

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta made this known during the 87th Edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) on Monday in Lagos.

The theme of the TCP is ”Challenges of Cybercrime: The Role of the Telecoms Service Providers”.

Danbatta said that the provision of CERT was to ensure efficient response to security incidents within the cyberspace.

He said that CERT was essential to monitor and deter threats that could exploit information system vulnerabilities.

According to him, NCC must be in the forefront in ensuring that telecommunications networks are secure enough to ensure Nigerians who want to subscribe to the telecommunication services do so without any fear of their security or privacy being violated.

”CERT is not a team of human beings. It is a team of computers networked together, designed to checkmate incidences of cybersecurity on the telecommunications network.

”The lab that is going to be doing this is already set up, the equipment have been supplied, so what remains is just the configuration.

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”The intention is to ensure that telecommunications network is secure, because in addition to all the benefits of the digital revolution, the post-Industrial Revolution we so much talk about, there is a risk dimension that results in the erosion of privacy and security,” he said.

Danbatta said that there was the need for CERT, as the demand for high-speed internet in Nigeria, Africa and across the globe by telecommunications consumers was rapidly growing.

He said that in today’s digital economy, the internet, and by extension broadband, was enabling people to carry out their personal and official activities in a more efficient and effective manner.

The EVC said that there were benefits and risks of the use of cyberspace and both had to be properly managed.

He said that the telecommunications service providers operating in Nigeria would be expected, more than ever before, to strengthen their cyber-risk protection systems and architecture.

According to him, the time has come for organisations and telecommunications service providers alike, to begin to use next-generation authentication as against the hitherto username-password authentication system.

”The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in a report, says the latter is vulnerable to hacking and all forms of cyber attacks.

”It is our belief that implementing these suggestions and more, will help telecommunications service providers and other Internet-dependent organisations in sustaining their activities in an increasingly-connected world.

”The suggestions will help in containing the menace of cybercrimes on their finances and reputation, on their employees and customers.

”The Mobile Network Operators also need to educate their consumers, regardless of their sizes and scopes of operations, and equip them with tips they need to get protected while using the internet on their networks,” he said.

The Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, said that the TCP provided high-level engagement and interactions with consumers, service provider, the regulator and other stakeholders in the telecommunications industry.

Onwuegbuchulam said that the programme has become a veritable platform for addressing critical industry challenges affecting consumers and other stakeholders in the telecommunications value-chain in Nigeria.

She said that the day’s Telecom Consumer Parliament brought to the front burner the problem of cybercrime, which was bedeviling the industry at the moment.

According to her, it is common knowledge that access to high-speed internet or broadband is getting more pervasive and available to Nigerians to enable them achieve more efficiency in their daily activities.

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Adavize Alao

Digital Economy lawyer Adavize Alao expressed express surprise at the NCC’s attempt at setting up a National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). According to the IT lawyer, “The NCC does not have the power to set up a Computer Emergency Response Team as the authority to create one has been delegated by section 41(C) of CyberCrime Act to the Office of the National Security Adviser”.

The lawyer also stated that although Nigeria needs a CERT, the legitimate process must be followed to set up such a highly essential platform.

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