THE Nigerian Communications Commission has inaugurated an incidence response facility aimed at addressing incidences of cybercrimes, protecting telecoms infrastructure and encouraging increased participation in the nation’s digital economy.
In a statement, the commission said its Centre for Computer Security Incident Response was its industry-specific intervention, aligned to the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy.
According to the NCC, the NCPS requires each sector to establish a computer incident response team that provides requisite services to stakeholders and players within each sector.
Speaking during the commissioning of the project, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said the centre was a strategic step in boosting cybersecurity in Nigeria.
He said, “The creation of the centre is in line with the provisions of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy document published by the Office of the National Security Adviser, which was recently updated and launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in February 2021.
“In keeping with the principles enshrined in the policy, each sector is expected to establish a sectoral Computer Incident Response Team that provides requisite services to the constituents within that sector.”
According to the commission, the NCC-CSIRT is to ensure continuous improvement of processes and communication frameworks to guarantee secure and collaborative exchange of timely information while responding to cyber threats within the sector.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the increasing growth in internet usage, especially as a consequence of the outbreak of the pandemic, had led to a surge in cyber incidents and criminal activities.
He said, “Thus, the commission recognises that with the borderless nature and pervasiveness of these incidences, relentless and concerted attention is required to protect internet users as well as the Critical National Information Infrastructure and ensure they are resilient.
“The CSIRT’s services will commence with four main thrusts, namely: monitoring, incident management, communication, and alert and warning.
“The devices for handling these four areas will be scaled up and expanded as the centre’s operations grow in order to enhance the digital economy and ensure it yields great dividends to Nigerian citizens.”
Also speaking at the event, the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.), who was represented at the event by Brigadier General Samad Akesode, said, “By establishing the CSIRT, the NCC has taken a step that could only be described as impeccable and timely, and in conformity with the highest standards and international best practice, which aligns with the requirement of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.”
According to the commission, the NCC-CSIRT, will provide guidance and direction for the constituents in dealing with issues relating to the security of critical infrastructure in their possession, and periodically assess, review and collate the threat landscape, risks, and opportunities affecting the communications sector and provide advice to relevant stakeholders.