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Cybersecurity: NCC inaugurates incident response facility

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) 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. The NCC Center for Computer Security Incident Response is the Commission’s industry-specific intervention, whose objectives are aligned to the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) published by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

NCPS requires each sector to establish a computer incident response team that provides requisite services to the stakeholders and players within each sector. The overall mandate of NCCCSIRT 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.

Speaking during the commissioning of the project in Abuja last weekend, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, described the center as a strategic step in boosting cybersecurity in Nigeria and commended the Board of NCC and Danbatta-led management at the Commission for ensuring successful implementation of the project. Pantami noted that the commissioning of the facility marks an important milestone in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria and described it as a significant measure in the support of national efforts at protecting the information and communication technology infrastructure in the country.

“The creation of the Center is in line with the provisions of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) document published by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), 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 (CSIRT) that provides requisite services to the constituents within that sector,” the minister said. In his address at the event, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated that considering the increasing growth in Internet usage, especially as a consequence of the outbreak of the pandemic, the Commission observed a rise in cyber incidents and criminal activities.

“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,” Danbatta said.

The EVC emphasised that the NCC-CSIRT had been structured to operate within the framework of the NCPS and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) to assist the Nigerian communications sector with the management and coordination of cyber security incidents and threats. “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 to enhance the digital economy and ensure it yields great dividends to the Nigerian citizens,” Danbatta said.

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