CyberSafe Foundation, one of Nigeria’s foremost non-governmental organizations in the information security domain, has unveiled plans to equip digitally vulnerable groups and 1500 SMEs with the knowledge and skills required to identify, protect, detect, defend and respond to COVID-19 instigated cyber threats, enabling a safe digital community.
CyberSafe Foundation which is on a mission to facilitate pockets of changes that ensure a safer internet for everyone with digital access and resident in Nigeria has secured funding from the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme.
In addition, CyberSafe Foundation has secured support from KnowBe4 Africa, CyberSecurity Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), and other experts to ensure that the program tagged ‘Safe Digital Community During COVID-19’ project is achieved.
Confidence Staveley, Founder/Executive Director, CyberSafe Foundation, said, “Without an iota of doubt, the COVID-19 global pandemic has created an atmosphere of chaos, confusion and fear, a perfect backdrop for malicious actors to carry out a range of attack types.
“A particularly vulnerable group is the Small and Medium Size Businesses, many of whom do not have technology, people, or processes in place to detect or defend against cyber-attacks.
“This project will provide the much-needed free up skilling training for employees of beneficiary SMEs by cyber security experts.”
The volunteer faculty team consists of highly experienced and exceptional cyber security leaders based in Nigeria, United Kingdom, Canada, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Cayman Islands and South Africa.
“Beneficiary SMEs will cut across all parts of Nigeria and business sectors, including underserved communities in the Northern part of the country and Healthcare organizations”, she said. “Learning will be delivered online as a combination of bi-weekly live training sessions and self-paced learning materials consumed via our learning management system. SMEs will register to be part of the free virtual training which begins 9th October 2020. www.learn.cybersafefoundation.org.
“Individuals are also targeted by cybercriminals with COVID-19 themed attacks like; relief packages scams, impersonation of trusted organizations; resulting in theft of confidential information and money from unwary victims.
“As we continue to work tirelessly to improve cyber safety in Nigeria, especially for the most vulnerable in our society, this program presents a means to reduce the success rate of cyber-attacks by raising mass awareness of COVID-19 themed cyber threats. “We will leverage entertainment as a vehicle to propagate safe cyber hygiene best practices to millions of people resident in Nigeria”, she said.
“The ‘Safe Digital Community during COVID-19 Project’ is part of UK’s cyber risk mitigation support to Nigeria’s COVID-19 response. “This project demonstrates the UK Government’s continued support for Nigeria and its digital sector, recognizing the tech ecosystem’s role in inclusive growth and development,” said Idongesit Udoh UK Government’s Head of Digital Access Programme and Country Adviser.
“We are excited about this project and the impact it will have in enhancing the safety of Nigeria’s digital space. “It is also exciting that this project kickoff coincides with the 2020 London Tech Week, which showcases the UK as a global leader in tech.”
Commenting on the program, Remi Afon, President Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria, said that considering that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant shift in tactics employed by cybercriminals, it has become pertinent to intensify cyber security awareness to ensure that individuals and businesses of all sizes can avoid falling prey to cybercriminals.
“In the wake of this reality and recognising the urgent need to address COVID-19 enabled cyber scams, the Cyber Safe Foundation – CSEAN partnership aimed at delivering SDCDC-19 in Nigeria will go a long way in building the cyber security capacity and resilience of our target audience,” Afon said.