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Cybersecurity Levy: The Imperative of establishing the Office of the National Cybersecurity Director (ONCD)

While the levy itself is a positive development, its effectiveness hinges on proper administration and leadership.

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Destiny Young
Destiny Younghttp://linktr.ee/youngdestinya
Destiny Young is a highly credentialed information technology professional with over 13 years of industry experience. An HND/BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate. He holds a Master of Technology degree in Information Technology from the prestigious University of South Africa (UNISA). He is a Distinction-grade MBA alumnus of Nexford University, Washington, DC, where he also obtained a First-class MSc degree in Digital Transformation. He is currently pursuing MSc in Cybersecurity. His professional development direction is in Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, and Business Intelligence. He is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria (CIA), the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), etc.

…The Office of the National Security Adviser, traditionally focused on military and physical security matters, might lack the specific expertise required to manage a dedicated cybersecurity fund effectively

By: C.itp Destiny Young, MCPN

Executive Summary

The Nigerian government’s recent introduction of a 0.005% cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions is a step in the right direction towards enhancing national cybersecurity. However, the success of this initiative hinges on the effective management and allocation of the National Cybersecurity Fund. This article argues that establishing the Office of the National Cybersecurity Director (ONCD) and appointing a highly credentialed Information Security professional to head it is crucial to ensure the optimal utilization of the fund and guarantee the safety of Nigeria’s digital space.

Cybersecurity Levy: A Necessary Step

The cybersecurity levy is a necessary measure to address the growing threat of cyberattacks in Nigeria. With the increasing reliance on digital technologies, the country’s digital landscape has become vulnerable to various cyber threats, including hacking, phishing, and ransomware attacks. The levy will provide a dedicated funding source for cybersecurity initiatives, enabling the government to invest in robust security measures to protect the nation’s digital infrastructure.

The Importance of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is critical to ensuring the safety and integrity of Nigeria’s digital space. A robust cybersecurity framework can prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information, protect against financial fraud, and safeguard the country’s critical infrastructure. Effective cybersecurity measures can also promote citizens’ trust in digital services and enhance the overall digital economy.

The Need for ONCD

While the levy itself is a positive development, its effectiveness hinges on proper administration and leadership. The Office of the National Security Adviser, traditionally focused on military and physical security matters, might lack the specific expertise required to manage a dedicated cybersecurity fund effectively.

An Office of the National Cybersecurity Director (ONCD), headed by a seasoned information security professional, would offer several advantages:

  • Specialized Knowledge and Experience: An ONCD Director would possess in-depth understanding of cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, and mitigation strategies.
  • Strategic Vision and Leadership: The Director would provide a clear vision and leadership in developing and implementing a comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy.
  • Improved Coordination and Collaboration: The ONCD could foster collaboration between public and private stakeholders to create a unified cybersecurity ecosystem in Nigeria.

Establishing an ONCD demonstrates the government’s commitment to cybersecurity and ensures the levy funds are effectively utilized.

The Office of the National Cybersecurity Director (ONCD) is essential to coordinate and oversee national cybersecurity efforts. Globally, countries have established similar offices to lead their cybersecurity initiatives. For example, the United States has the Office of the National Cyber Director, while the United Kingdom has the National Cyber Security Centre. Nigeria should follow suit by establishing ONCD and appointing a highly credentialed Information Security professional to head it.

Role of ONCD

ONCD should be responsible for:

  1. National Cybersecurity Strategy: Developing and implementing a comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy that aligns with global best practices.
  2. Cybersecurity Fund Management: Overseeing the allocation and utilization of the National Cybersecurity Fund to ensure effective deployment of resources.
  3. Threat Intelligence: Coordinating threat intelligence gathering and sharing to enhance incident response and prevention.
  4. Capacity Building: Developing and implementing training programs to enhance the skills of cybersecurity professionals in Nigeria.
  5. Stakeholder Engagement: Collaborating with private sector organizations, academia, and civil society to promote public-private partnerships and awareness.

Measures for Financial System Security

With the National Cybersecurity Fund, the Nigerian government can implement various measures to ensure the security of financial systems, including:

  1. Implementing robust security protocols: Enhancing the security of financial institutions’ digital platforms and networks.
  2. Conducting regular security audits: Identifying vulnerabilities and addressing them proactively.
  3. Enhancing incident response capabilities: Developing effective incident response plans to minimize the impact of cyberattacks.
  4. Promoting cybersecurity awareness: Educating citizens and financial institutions about cybersecurity best practices.

Conclusion

The establishment of ONCD is crucial to ensure the effective management of the National Cybersecurity Fund and guarantee the safety of Nigeria’s digital space. The government should appoint a highly credentialed Information Security professional to head ONCD and work towards developing a comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy. By doing so, Nigeria can promote the safety of citizens’ personal data, enhance the security of financial systems, and foster a trusted digital economy.

Summary

  • The Nigerian government’s cybersecurity levy is a positive step towards enhancing national cybersecurity.
  • Establishing the Office of the National Cybersecurity Director (ONCD) is crucial to ensure the effective management of the National Cybersecurity Fund.
  • ONCD should be headed by a highly credentialed Information Security professional and be responsible for developing a national cybersecurity strategy, managing the cybersecurity fund, and coordinating threat intelligence, among other roles.
  • Effective cybersecurity measures can promote citizens’ trust in digital services, enhance the overall digital economy, and safeguard the country’s critical infrastructure.

The opinion expressed here is solely advisory, Nigerian Government is at liberty to implement it. The author believes that establishing ONCD will complement the nation’s cybersecurity strategy against the increasingly sophisticated threat landscape.

Destiny Young, a cybersecurity and digital technology adoption advocate, writes from Uyo

Destiny Young
Destiny Young is a highly credentialed information technology professional with over 13 years of industry experience. An HND/BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate. He holds a Master of Technology degree in Information Technology from the prestigious University of South Africa (UNISA). He is a Distinction-grade MBA alumnus of Nexford University, Washington, DC, where he also obtained a First-class MSc degree in Digital Transformation. He is currently pursuing MSc in Cybersecurity. His professional development direction is in Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, and Business Intelligence. He is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria (CIA), the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), etc.
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