EC-Council, New Horizons to Boost Cyber Security in Nigeria


EC-Council, a United States (U.S.) based international certification body on information security and e-business, in collaboration with New Horizons, a Nigerian based knowledge provider on Information Technology (IT), is set to train Nigerians on cyber security issues.

EC-Council, which currently trains staff of the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) in the United States of America, as well as staff of defense ministry from various countries of the world, will be offering courses on Master of Security Science in Nigeria, through the EC-Council University that is based in the U.S.

President and Co-founder of EC-Council, Sanjay Bavisi, together with the Vice President, EC-Council University, Sean Lim spoke in Lagos at the weekend, when they visited Nigeria for the first time, on invitation by New Horizons.

Bavisi explained that EC-Council train FBI staff on security management and that it regularly train organisations and staff from various departments in various countries, not in the U.S. alone. "We work with defense ministries in various countries to provide training on cyber security and we will like to work with the Nigerian Defense Ministry to provide training on cyber security as well," Bavisi said.

According to him, what EC-Council does is to bring the same level of knowledge from the U.S. to other countries it offers training.

Managing Director for New Horizons, Tim Akano, said he was happy to succeeded in bringing EC-Council to Nigeria, explaining that he took him close to three years to track Bavisi and Lim and bring them to Nigeria because they are ever busy people who always flying from one country to another on security training.

Bank and telecom company executives present at the weekend gathering to learn from the EC-Council, indicated their interests to be part of the training on Master of Security Science, which kicks off in November next month in Lagos.

The Master of Security Science (MSS) is part of a nested suite of programs, which includes an EC-Council certification, Post Graduate Diploma and a Master's degree in different entry points depending on previous academic studies. The program is intended for fresh and experienced graduates who wish to update their skills or change their area of specialization. It is concerned with the design, management and implementation of network security in corporations and public networks, or service provision to public and private networks.

Speaking on the implications for mobile and hospital hacking that is currently in vogue, Bavisi said there are many implications in mobile and hospital hacking. Some companies he said, have no IT policy and people can bring in dangerous tools into the company that could affect its smooth operations.

Mobile phones, he added, allow the use of any applications, but stressed the dander of allowing anybody to take in any mobile phone into a company, since e people could use mobile phones or digital devices to install malicious software and steal data. He said group of hackers hack for different purposes and that their actions should be checked.

The whole purpose of EC-Councilis to reduce the rate of cyber warfare across countries. He however emphasized that a country must first recognise that there is a security gap before thinking of how to reduce the gap. A lot of countries, he said, 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 be found out.

On how safe is the idea of going international by some Nigerian financial institutions, considering online hacking, Bavisi said security protection is key to any nation and organisation. "I thing Nigerian financial institutions have not really branded themselves as information security institution. When this is lacking, they will be open to risk and online attacks. 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.

On how hacking could be controlled globally, Lim said there are several measures in which hacking could be checked globally. EC-Council according to him, is hosting an Asia-Specific roundtable gathering in November this year to brainstorm on cyber security globally. "We are partnering with the ministry of defense in most Asian countries. We will come out with a global solution on how to reduce crime rate in cyberspace.

The National Security Agency of the United States for instance is coming up with global solution in the area of human capital. The reason is that without proper human capital development, there will be room for hacking. No matter how sophisticated technology equipment a nation or organisation may purchase, and no matter the huge investment on physical facilities without investing on the human capital development, will amount to mere waste of energy and resources. People that will handle the equipment must be trained and must be knowledgeable in information security management. Without human capital and without proper methodology in place, it will be difficult to control cyber attacks, Lim said.

He said although much money has been lost to cyber attacks, it is pretty difficult to ascertain the exact amount in dollars and naira that has been lost by various organizations and individuals to cyber attacks. Some organizations, he said, have however come up with figures and put their losses to the tune of $3 billion in recent times.

Asked which country is worst hit in cyber attacks, Lim said the U.S. seems to be the worst hit because they are transparent and provide details of security information to the public each time they notice any attack. He however said that not every country shows transparency in releasing information. Some countries, he said, have decided not to give information on cyber attacks, but stressed that such situation of secrecy does not imply that such counties are more security tight than others. They are even the worst hit, because they are afraid to report so that hackers may not attack them the more, he said.

Daily Independent Lagos