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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bavisi warns Nigerian banks, telcos on cyber warfare

President and Co-founder of EC-Council, Mr. Sanjay Bavisi, has warned on cyber warfare on Nigerian banking and telecommunications institutions, advocating for internal Information Technology (IT) policy by corporate entities.

This, he said, would check-mate people, especially employees using mobile tools to bring in dangerous trends into the company that could affect its smooth operations.

Speaking at a one-day seminar for bank and telecom executives in Lagos, organized by New Horizons, Mr. Bavisi, accompanied by the Vice President, EC- Council University , Mr. Sean Lim, noted that there are many implications in mobile and hospital hacking.

“Some companies have no IT policy and people can bring in dangerous tools into the company that could affect its smooth operations,” he said.

According to him, “Mobile phones also allow the use of any applications, and just allowing anybody to take in any mobile phone into a company could be dangerous because people could use mobile phones or digital devices, to install malicious software and steal data.”

He stressed that every company faces challenges of one form or the other, and when this happens, it is not advisable to depend on the army or navy to protect the country.

“Cyber warfare could be dangerous attack on any nation and could bring down economy,” he said, noting that electronic Jihad is just one way of fighting cyber warfare.

Noting that there are some groups that hack for different purposes and this should be checked.

He explained that the whole purpose of EC-Council is to reduce the rate of cyber warfare across countries, pointing out that a country must first recognise that there is a security gap before thinking of how to reduce the gap.

“A lot of countries feel that there is no need to beef up security against cyber attack, just because they have not been attacked. There are several attacks that are going on in some organisations and their computers that they are yet to find out. There is something called backdoor and there are lots of data that could be hacked,” he said.

On the implication of expanding operations beyond Nigeria’s shores more so now that some local banks have gone international in relation to online banking, the expert said, security protection is key to any nation and organisation.

“I think Nigerian financial institutions have not really branded themselves as Information security institutions. When this is lacking, they will be open to risk and online attacks,” he said.

Advising that what Nigeria needs to do is to come with an agenda on cyber security, accept the agenda and ensure that the agenda is well implemented.

“All banks and stock market need information security,” he said.
Bavisi also counselled on how cracking could be controlled globally, saying that there are several measures in which attacks could be checked, citing for instance that EC-Council would be hosting an Asia-Pacific roundtable next month, November, to brainstorm on cyber security globally.

“We are partnering with the ministry of defence in most Asian countries. We will come out with a global solution on how to reduce crime rate in cyberspace,” he said.

The National Security Agency of the United States, he said, is coming up with global solution in the area of human capital and the reason is that without proper human capital development, there will be room for attacks.

“No matter how sophisticated technology equipment a nation or organisation may buy, and no matter the huge investment of physical facilities without investing on the human capital development, then it is mere waste of energy and resources,” he said.

Pointing out that people that will handle the equipment must be trained and be knowlegeable in information security management.

“Without human capital and proper methodolagy in place, it will be difficult to controll cyber attacks,” he said.


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