Precautionary Measures Against Cyberattacks
Cyberattack is a major threat to Information and Communication Technology in Nigeria and globally. There were major cyberattacks around the world in 2017; the most notable was the ‘WannaCry attack’, the ‘Ransomware attack’ and the ‘Petya attack’. These attacks greatly impacted the IT world but with minimal effects in Nigeria.
The possibilities of experiencing similar cyberattacks still remain high, therefore necessitating increased vigilance and taking proactive precautionary measures. Buttressing this, the Nigeria National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has recently “intercepted some signals of potential cyberattacks targeting banking, health and other systems, power and transportation systems, as well as other critical national infrastructure”.
The following precautionary measures have, therefore, been recommended by the agency:
- Efforts should be intensified at ensuring that any data is encrypted, particularly any sensitive or personal data.
- Ensure that networks are fully secure through the use of wired network thereby protecting them from possible hackers’ attempt at using Wi-Fi security lapses to remotely break into computer systems.
- Where Wi-Fi network is used, ensure that an up to date encryption standard is in use and turn off the service set identifier (SSID) broadcasting function on the wireless router if it is not needed.
- Ensure that free Wi-Fi connections as well as other wireless connections such as Bluetooth or infrared ports are not used unless where necessary
- Ensure that operating systems and other software applications are regularly updated with the latest patches.
- Ensure that anti-malware protection is installed on all IT systems as this will help in protecting your organisation’s network from potential attacks through virus-laden software and email attachments. Also, all security software should be adjusted to scan compressed or archived files.
- Ensure that appropriate guidelines are in place for connecting personal devices into the organisation’s network.
- Ensure the use of credential vaults and multi-factor authentication instead of user passwords.
- Ensure that the organisation’s data and critical files are regularly backed up.
- Ensure that there is an organisation-wide enlightenment campaign, awareness and measures put in place to deal with cyber security threats as well as the procedures they must always follow when using their workstations.
Christian Egwuogu is a Business Analyst at ACIOE Associates where he leads engagements in Information and Communication Technology, while also leading other key projects.
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