The result of recent survey by Sophos, a global leader in next-generation cybersecurity, tagged “The IT Security Team: 2021 and Beyond,” shows how increased security challenges during the pandemic offered IT teams a unique opportunity to build their cybersecurity expertise.
The vast majority of IT teams in Nigeria that faced a rise in cyberattacks (87%) and a heavier security workload (91%) over the course of 2020 strengthened their security skills and knowledge.
The report noted that despite the challenges created by the pandemic, 52% of the IT teams surveyed globally, said team morale increased during 2020.
The increase in cyberattacks during the pandemic impacted IT security skills across all industry sectors covered in the survey, including, at a global level, education (83%), retail (85%) and healthcare (80%).
The survey polled 5,400 IT decision makers in mid-sized organizations in 30 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist, Sophos, said: “Around the world, 2020 was an unprecedented year for IT teams.
“IT professionals played a vital role in helping organizations to keep going despite the restrictions and limitations necessitated by COVID-19.
“Among other things, they enabled education institutions to move learning online, retailers to switch to online transactions, healthcare organizations to deliver digital services and care under incredibly tough circumstances, and ensured public entities could continue to provide essential services.
“Much of this will have been done at high speed, with limited equipment and resources available and while facing a rising tide of cyberattacks against the network, endpoints and employees. To say things were probably pretty stressful for most IT teams is an understatement.
“However, the survey shows that in many cases these challenges have created not just more highly skilled, but more motivated IT teams, ready to embrace an ambitious future. As a growing number of countries are able to start planning for life beyond pandemic restrictions, we have an excellent opportunity to implement new IT and security policies, adopt more secure modern tools to manage employees and operations beyond the IT perimeter, build expert teams that blend in-house and out-sourced talent, and introduce security platforms that combine intelligent automation with human threat hunting expertise. There is no going back. The future may be just as unprecedented as the past.”
The main findings of “The IT Security Team: 2021 and Beyond” global survey for Nigeria include:
· Demands on IT teams increased as technology became the key enabler for dispersed and digital organizations. Overall IT workload (excluding security) increased for 66% of IT teams, while 69% experienced an increase in cybersecurity workload
· Adversaries were quick to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the pandemic: 60% of IT teams overall reported an increase in the number of cyberattacks targeting their organization over the course of 2020
· The overall experience of 2020 enabled 82% of IT teams to build their cybersecurity skills and knowledge. It is likely that much of this professional development will have been informal on-the-job learning, acquired as teams tackled new technology and security demands, often under intense pressure and remote from their normal place of work
· Facing challenges together boosted team morale. IT team morale also improved for many teams. More than half (59%) of the IT teams surveyed said team morale increased over the course of 2020. Morale is also likely influenced by external and personal circumstances during the pandemic, such as local lockdowns, the inability to see family and other factors. Regardless, the findings suggest that a shared purpose, a sense of value and facing adversity together helped to bond and lift the spirits of IT teams
· The experiences of 2020 have fuelled ambitions for bigger IT teams and using advanced tools such as artificial intelligence (AI) in future technology strategies. Many organizations appear to have entered 2021 with plans to increase the size of both in-house and outsourced IT teams, and to embrace the potential of advanced tools and technologies. The survey found that 72% of IT teams anticipate an increase in in-house IT security staff by 2023, and 51% expect the number of outsourced IT security staff to grow over the same time frame. An overwhelming majority (94%) expect AI to help deal with the growing number of attacks and 93% with the complexity of attacks. This could be due in part to the fact that 47% of IT teams believe that cyberattacks are now too advanced for the in-house team to tackle on their own
The “IT Security Team: 2021 and Beyond” survey report is available in full on Sophos.com.
The IT Security Team: 2021 and Beyond survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne, an independent specialist in market research, in January and February 2021. The survey interviewed 5,400 IT decision makers in 30 countries, in the US, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Austria, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Israel, UAE, Saudi Arabia, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. All respondents were from organizations with between 100 and 5,000 employees.
Glo Felicitates with Nigeria on Democracy Day
Globacom has felicitated with the Nigerian government and people as they mark the twenty second anniversary of Democracy Day.
It is the day set aside by the government of Nigeria to commemorate the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999.
The felicitation was contained in a goodwill message issued by the company on Saturday in Lagos, where it noted the tenacious commitment of Nigerians to maintaining the structures of democracy despite the many challenges within the polity.
The company observed that all hands must be the deck to ensure that democracy is not only sustained, but well nurtured so it can take an even deeper root in the country than it has in the last twenty two years.
“The role of peace in the development of a nation cannot be over emphasized. As a nation of resourceful, diligent and hardworking people who are making laudable footprints a across the globe, Nigerians should be determined to sustain the territorial integrity of the country at all cost”, the company further stated.
It also advised Nigerians to continue to support government at all levels in the country as the Federal Government intensify effort to resuscitate the economy adjudged as Africa’s biggest, build institutions, create jobs and generally build structures that will enable the country fulfill the dreams of its founding fathers.
NIMC Appoints Spectranet 4G for NIN Enrollment
National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), has appointed Spectranet 4G LTE owned exclusive shops as locations for Nigerians to register for National Identity Number (NIN)
Mr. Ajay Awasthi, chief executive officer of Spectranet, said, seven locations of Spectranet shops in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan had been granted approvals to conduct registration of NIN.
According to Ajay, these locations are already in operation with added manpower to attend to the need of anyone desirous of enrolling for the National identity Number.
It is a service we are offering for both Spectranet customers and other members of the public that are yet to register for the National Identity Number.
The service can be availed free of cost, in the comfort of Spectranet exclusive shops located at convenient distances from various localities in these four cities.
“We would urge our customers and their friends and families to get themselves enrolled for NIN in a hassle-free manner without the need to stand in long queues. I would further urge them to hurry up and not to keep this enrolment pending till 30th June 2021, the date fixed as the last date by the Federal Government,” Ajay added.
He further said: “As ISP brand, we are thankful to NIMC for considering us worthy of delivering this critical task in the middle of the challenges confronting Nigerians in registering for NIN, we are extremely glad to render the service that will keep our fellow citizens connected to the internet in a safe manner.”
NCC Concludes Cost-Based Study on International Termination Rate Determination
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has concluded the process for determining the cost-based price of Mobile International Termination Rate (ITR) to ensure healthy competition on traffic handling for voice services between local and international operators in Nigeria.
The Commission made this known at the final Stakeholders’ Forum for the presentation of the study on cost-based pricing of mobile ITR, undertaken by Messrs Payday Advance and Support Services Limited, held at the Commission’s Head Office in Abuja on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 with Management Staff of the Commission physically in attendance while other critical industry stakeholders participated virtually.
The forum was convened by the NCC to formally present the findings from the study, which commenced in March, 2020, to industry stakeholders and to solicit further perspectives, insights and other input on the findings towards a mutually realistic termination rate for international voice traffic in Nigeria.
Speaking at the forum, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC, said the cost-based study became imperative, following previous efforts at finding an optimum price for the termination of international voice services that will be beneficial to all relevant industry stakeholders.
Danbatta said that the “overriding need for regulatory options and intervention in relation to the international termination rate in the voice market segment is predicated on some intractable challenges, most common with economies with severe macroeconomic volatility such as ours.”
Going down memory lane with respect to MTR determination in the Nigeria’s telecom industry, the EVC said, in 2013, the Commission issued a Determination stating that mobile Termination Rates (MTR) are the same irrespective of where the call originated.
He, however, stated that this was misconstrued by operators at that time to mean that ITR should be the same rate as the MTR, consequently ignoring the international cost portion.
“Arising from these is the persistent fact that Nigeria’s ITR is below that of most countries with which it makes and receives the most calls, making Nigerian operators perpetual net payers.
“The obvious implication of this is seen in the attendant undue pressure on the nation’s foreign reserves, which continue to get depleted by associated net transfers to foreign operators on account of this lopsidedness,” Danbatta explained.
Danbatta further stated that regulating the ITR is imperative for developing countries, such as Nigeria, with volatile currencies in order to prevent or mitigate the imbalance of payments with international operators.
He also said the Commission was faced with the challenge of arriving at a rate that will balance the competing objectives of economic efficiency while, at the same time, allowing operators the latitude to generate reasonable revenues.
He informed the forum however, that “where ITR is not regulated, it tends to converge to the MTR and for a market like Nigeria with major supply side challenges, the socio-economic implications and attendant backlash can only be imagined.”
In her comments, Yetunde Akinloye, director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis, NCC, corroborated the EVC, noting that the study was intended to compliment and consolidate the initial work done by the Commission which had also culminated in the MTR Determination published in June 2018.
According to her, the ITR previously determined was based on actual benchmarking with countries of similar characteristics to Nigeria, but the findings from that study were faced by major national macroeconomic management challenges, ultimately pointing to the need for an ITR that is cost-based, consistent with the MTR.
ITR is the rate paid to local operators by international operators to terminate calls in Nigeria as contrasted with MTR, which is the rate local operators pay to another local operator to terminate calls within the country.
Meanwhile, Danbatta has reiterated the NCC’s commitment “to continuously provide a conducive environment and level playing field for the effective interplay of factors that would engender sustained market development and growth, while ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunication services to the consumers”.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has concluded the process of determining the cost-based price of Mobile International Termination Rate (ITR) to ensure healthy competition on traffic handling for voice services between local and international operators in Nigeria.
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