Abuja – Cyber security constitutes a major challenge to governments, institutions, and individuals, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police on ICT, Mrs Chintua Amajor-Onu, said on Thursday.
Amajor-Onu said this during the opening ceremony of the International Conference on Cyberspace (Cyber 2015) in Abuja.
The theme of the conference was “Cyberspace Governance: The Imperative for National and Economic Security’’.
Represented by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Mr Danladi Mshelwala, she said that cyber crimes such as sabotage, terrorism and espionage were being perpetuated through cyberspace.
“Even though there is an increasing dependence on cyberspace, there are risks that tend to threaten national economy and security.
“This is because important and sensitive data, networks and systems that can be trusted, are now being compromised or tampered with in a way that can be difficult to detect.
“Cyberspace has contributed to the development of many countries and is now critical to the socio-economic success and growth of most nations.
“The ability of a nation to leverage on the potentials of cyberspace enables the nation to have significant influence and control globally.’’
Amajor-Onu, therefore, stressed the need for Nigeria and its citizens to enjoy the full benefits of cyber technology and for the three tiers of government and other institutions to be fully involved in cyberspace governance.
In his remarks, Prof. Muhammad Mainoma, the Vice-Chancellor Nasarawa State University, said that most countries had recognised cyberspace as the fifth domain of war after land, sea, air and space.
“Besides the emerging digital economy driven by the extensive use of digital knowledge, most countries have recognised cyberspace as the fifth domain of war.
“Cyberspace has become a new focal point for innovations, enterprises, social networking criminality and warfare.
“It is important to mention that aside the gains, there are criminals of sorts undermining and exploiting cyberspace capability to the impairment and harm of others.
“It is therefore worrisome that the disruption of cyberspace is capable of causing colossal damage to the economy and national security of a country.
“In this light, it is in our collective interest to keep the Internet safe by exploring new grounds through research and development, to foster fair competitiveness,’’ Mainoma said.
One of the organisers, Prof. Gloria Chukwudebe, the Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), said that the conference would provide more insight into safer use of cyberspace.
She said that it would also enhance productivity in all business processes of government and private organisations.
“We hope that the conference will provide the platform for possible cyberspace technology research collaborations and safer networking for young and experienced professionals,’’ Chukwudebe said. (NAN)