The National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA) has said it would partner with the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Certified Fraud Investigator of Nigeria (CIFCFIN) on digital forensics in order to strengthen the tech ecosystem and reduce cybercrimes in the digital space.
Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa made this known over the weekend while receiving the CIFCFIN President, Dr. Iliyasu Gashinbak, and his team at the agency’s Corporate Headquarters, in Abuja.
Inuwa who lamented over the dangerous impact of cybercrimes on the economy of a country, organisations, and individuals, stressed the need to build capacity for protection against unscrupulous elements.
“Sometimes in our efforts to digitise services, we lose sight of cybersecurity and only think about security when there is a problem, this shouldn’t be the case, we should always design or digitise with security in mind in whatever we do – that is the only way we can be safe”, Inuwa advised.
Inuwa also stated that NITDA has been proactive in taking critical measures toward protecting cyberspace through creating awareness, capacity building, and infrastructure.
“Although we are doing our modest best in this regard, we know we cannot succeed in isolation, this explains why we welcome collaborations and work with key stakeholders – individuals, organisations, and other Sovereign Nations to achieve the best result”, the DG noted.
While maintaining that perpetrators of cybercrimes spend a lot of money on research and thrive on information as well as powerful tools to launch attacks, Inuwa alluded to the fact that an organized defence to counter the attacks is non-negotiable.
“We invested in other technologies such as the Digital Fabrication Lab (FABLAB 1.0) and other labs around the country but we are yet to build a Cybersecurity Laboratory. “So, when we met the last time, I figured that this would be an opportunity to collaborate in order to build the Cybersecurity Lab.”
“We already have in mind where it will be situated but we will need all relevant stakeholders to be part of it so that the design and implementation of the centre can be fast-tracked,” he added.
The DG informed the visiting team that whereas NITDA’s investment in the project would be done from next year, the centre would not be named Forensics Lab but would also incorporate Cybersecurity into its nomenclature to cover other important areas of interest.
While responding to other specific areas of collaboration requests put forward by the leader of the team, which included, Training and Certification Programmes, Research and Development, Information Sharing and Collaboration Platforms, Policy Development and Advocacy, Joint Workshops and Conferences, Standardisation and Accreditation among others, Inuwa affirmed that the Agency engages in a lot of scholarships not only for MSc. & Ph.D. but also in the area of certification in partnership with Coursera.
According to the DG, there have been different Cybersecurity Training Programmes held where Staff of Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) were engaged in both hybrid and physical training, adding that this year, thousands of Nigerians have so far been trained both on the Cisco Academy and Coursera platforms.
Inuwa expressed the hope that the collaboration will bring forth improvements in the cybersecurity architecture of the tech ecosystem.
He congratulated the group for the Institute’s Establishment Act, 2022 which was successfully signed into law on 23rd Dec, 2022.
Meanwhile, the President of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Certified Fraud Investigator of Nigeria (CIFCFIN), Dr. Iliyasu Gashinbak who spoke earlier highlighted the Institute’s desire to partner with NITDA on Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity.
Apart from the already mentioned requests, Dr. Gashinbak also appealed for support with computers for the Nigerian College of Forensics and Fraud Investigators (NCFFI), technical assistance to deploy their combined e-portal and e-learning platforms as well as Postgraduate Scheme/Scholarship.
The Institute President however pledged the commitment of his Organisation in the discharge of its duties towards the success of the forged collaboration.