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Critical Infrastructure Sees Most Cyber Incidents Due to Lack of Budget

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18% of companies in the Middle East, Turkiye and Africa (META) region have experienced cyber incidents due to insufficient cybersecurity investment in the last two years, according to a recent study by Kaspersky.

Alarmingly, critical infrastructure, oil & gas and energy organisations suffered the biggest number of cyber incidents due to improper budget allocation (60%). And when it comes to companies’ finances, in the META region one-in-five (24%) admit they do not have the budget for adequate cybersecurity measures.

Kaspersky conducted a study¹ to discover the opinions of IT Security professionals working for SMEs and enterprises worldwide regarding the human impact on the cybersecurity in a company.

The research – aimed at gathering information on various groups of people who influence cybersecurity – considered both internal staff, and external contractors. It also analysed the impact decision makers have on cybersecurity in terms of budget allocation.

Insufficient distribution of budget for cybersecurity led 18% of companies in the META region to endure cyber incidents in the last two years. The situation is different for every industry.

For example, critical infrastructure, energy and oil & gas organisations suffered the greatest number of cyber breaches because of the lack of budget (60%). Meanwhile, some industries showed a smaller number of cyber incidents than the META region figure (14%).

The telecommunications sector suffered 25% of cyber incidents due to budget constraints, while transport & logistics suffered 17%, and financial services companies 14% of them.

When asked about the budget for cybersecurity measures, 74% of respondents from the META region said they are equipped to keep up with or even stay ahead of new threats.

However, 24% of companies are not doing so well – 22% report that they don’t have sufficient funds to protect the company’s infrastructure properly.

At the same time, there are still companies without cost allocations for cybersecurity at all – 2% claimed they don’t have a dedicated budget for cyber protection needs.

Many respondents’ companies from the META region are eager to take steps to strengthen their cybersecurity in the next 12-18 months. One of the most popular areas of investment is threat detection software (35%) and training, where 41% of companies plan to allocate budget for educational programs for cybersecurity professionals and 42% for training general staff.

Other popular measures organisations plan to take soon are introducing endpoint protection software (36%), hiring additional IT professionals (39%) and adopting SaaS cloud solutions (34%).

“Today, companies must align cybersecurity investment with a business strategy and consider cybersecurity as one of their business goals. Of course, investments must justify themselves and be effective, so the information security department also faces the task of increasing the ROI of investments in information security and defending investments to senior management or the board of directors.

Also, in addition to reducing mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR), information security is tasked with reducing the cost of a security incident. These challenges can be met through the use of various modern approaches and technologies.

For example, we are investing in developing our SASE portfolio as well as XDR and MDR with integrated AI, Machine Learning, automated detection and response, automated threat investigation, out of the box integrations and much more.

To ensure process transparency and prove the value of our solutions, we also provide C-level dashboards and reports for CISOs, which include information on how many incidents we prevented, how quickly incidents were investigated, and the effectiveness of deployed cybersecurity solutions.

We also highlight customer-specific risks, and show them trends particular to the industry to help them shape their cybersecurity by targeting their defenses around current dangers, and justify investments in the necessary technology.” comments Ivan Vassunov, VP, Corporate Products at Kaspersky.

 


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Customs Says No NIN, No Food as FG Begins Distribution of Seized Food Items

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Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has commenced the distribution of seized food items across the country, following a mandate from the federal government, in a bid to alleviate the economic hardships faced by Nigerians.

Customs Says No NIN, No Food as FG Begins Distribution of Seized Food Items

Beneficiaries would be required to provide a verifiable National Identification Number (NIN) to access the assistance.

Wale Adeniyi, customs comptroller-general, announced the initiative during a flag-off event in Lagos, highlighting the collaboration with other agencies to ensure direct distribution to those in need.

The distribution targets various segments of the population, including artisans, teachers, and religious organizations, with an emphasis on reducing food prices.

Adeniyi assured the public of the safety of the distributed rice, certified by NAFDAC, and outlined measures to prevent misuse or diversion.

The operation addresses food hoarding and smuggling, contributing to the government’s broader strategy to stabilize food prices and enhance national food security.

 

 

 


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Access Bank, FG Partner to Provide N50bn Funding for MSMEs

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Access Bank has said that it will be working with the Office of the Vice President to provide N50 billion as soft loans and grants to four million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in the country.

Chioma Ogwo, Head, Emerging Businesses at Access Bank Plc, disclosed this at the Inaugural Job Creation and MSME Quarterly Communications Forum in Abuja on Thursday.

Ogwo said the initiative was aimed at empowering businesses in Nigeria, by building their capacities and providing them with financial support.

According to her, 4 million MSMEs are expected to be empowered every year for four years, with 70,000 having access to finance while 300,000 will receive training.

She also mentioned that as part of the initiative, selected SMEs will have the chance to travel overseas and observe how businesses operate in other nations through its Business Exchange Programme.

Ogwo said: “So, this initiative, called the Youth Thrive by Access, is focused on MSMEs and we are looking at empowering them. There are different ways in which we are going to empower them. We are going to empower them by building their capacity and giving them access to affordable finance.

“We are going to build their capacities in different ways. There is going to be digital, technical, and also, skill acquisition training. With regards to finance, we are going to be giving them loans, and we are also going to be giving them grants.

“The grants are free. They are not paying us back. But, we are only giving grants to deserving SMEs who have done very well and there are price ranges for different categories.

“So, we have earmarked 50 billion for this intervention. For the first year, we will look at it and then will would review it”

While praising Access Bank for the initiative, Mr. Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMEs, Office of the Vice-President, stated that the objective was to remove obstacles to MSMEs’ loan access and to secure lower interest rates for them.

Johnson added that after evaluating the initiative’s effectiveness, the federal government would then consider whether to expand the funding.

According to him, “What we are trying to achieve is to be able to guarantee seamless and easy access to funding for the SMEs. We want businesses to be able to apply for funding and be sure that in the worst case, in 14 days, you have the funds that you need for your business.

“We do not want businesses to apply for loans and be waiting for disbursement in six weeks. Some of these businesses can fold up within those months. So, what we want, and what they have promised us, which we know they have the capacity to deliver on, is that this disbursements will be quick after the loan assessments are processed, so that we will help reduce the bottlenecks of MSMEs running from pillar to looking for funding.”


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MoneyMaster PSB Records Increase in Customer Base

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MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank, promoted and backed by digital services company Globacom has continued to witness tremendous increase in its customer base since it commenced operations.

The PSB which launched commercial operations in May 2022 in order to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria is focused on the unbanked and under-banked in the country.

The number of customers has been on increase with majority of them attracted by the bank’s digital channels such as USSD, mobile app and internet banking which allow them to open accounts, buy airtime and data, pay utility bills and perform other services hitch free.

The PSB has also embarked several innovations, with new services introduced in recent times for the benefit of its customers across the country.

These developments, industry sources said propelled Nigerians to join the bank in order to enjoy series of top – notch financial services and also conduct their banking transactions assurance promptly.

The sources disclosed further that “There are currently over 4,000 billers on the MMPSB platform and that the number is growing on a daily basis.

“Through the platform, customers are able to pay for many essential services such as airtime, data, electricity, cable subscription, etc”.

The PSB is also retooling and reengineering its operation with several new initiatives to be unveiled soon for better customer experience, thus assuring them of exciting times ahead.


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