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NCC Plans CSIRT to Combat Cyber Crime

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Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that the Commission is working towards establishing a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team (CSIRT) exclusively for the Telecommunications sector.

He stated that CSIRT will complement the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT) by handling and coordinating cybercrime incidences in the sector.

The NCC Boss, disclosed this at the 2019 Telecom Executives and Regulator Forum, organized by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos yesterday.

It would be recalled that the Commission played a key role in developing the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy documents that led to the establishment of the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT) Coordination Center, domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

Danbatta who was represented by Mohammed Babajika, Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis at NCC, revealed that CSIRT will facilitate intervention, swift identification of threats/vulnerabilities and the sharing of valuable information and resources to assist in fortifying Nigeria’s national security.

Speaking on the formulation of policy and regulation for OTTs: Challenges and Prospects, Danbatta urged service providers to innovate, noting that OTTs, have some prospects in the ICT ecosystem, which cannot be ignored.

He added that OTTs will increasingly support future service model that are rapidly expanding across multiple communications & digital service domains, which will spur the growth of Smartphones that are affordable, which pushes the demand for broadband and increase mobility that will bring convenience.

Speaking earlier, Mr. Olusola Teniola, President, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), organizers of 2019 Telecom Executives and Regulator Forum (TERF2019) said that the aim of the forum is to create a platform for the regulators to update the industry on the regulatory direction and plans for the industry in the coming years.

He noted that the outcome the forum will enable industry stakeholders to understand how best to cooperate with the regulatory agency in ensuring the effectiveness and success of policies and regulations in the industry.

According to him, “the forum is one of ATCON’s flagship initiatives for the telecom and ICT industry in Nigeria, Specifically designed for the purpose of creating a veritable opportunity for key industry players to interact with the industry regulators with the aim of building a continual good working relationship between industry players and the regulators.

“It is also aimed at creating a platform for the regulators to update the industry on the regulatory direction and plans for the industry in the coming years. This hopefully, would enable industry stakeholders to understand how best to cooperate with the regulatory agency in ensuring the effectiveness and success of policies and regulations in the industry.

“Furthermore, the forum is designed as an opportunity for the regulators to receive feedback from the industry with a view to understanding the challenges and prospects industry players have to grapple with and explore to ensure sustained growth of the industry.

“To a large extent, participants brainstorm on measures that would fast-track the rapid expansion of telecommunications services across the federation in the years ahead.

“The Association is of the opinion that today’s telecom and ICT sector in Nigeria is built on continuous strategic engagements amongst all players in the sector and the projected growth can only be attained if these engagements continue.

Mohammed Babajika, Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis at NCC, making the presentation

“ATCON is providing this platform for the purpose of accelerating and harnessing the changes that are taking place in the industry in order to grow the industry for all its teeming members who have made huge investments in the Nigerian telecom and ICT sector.

“There is a popular saying that ‘change is inevitable’, the truth is that our industry is changing on daily basis or we can say that the industry is being disrupted by new technological innovations and for our members to stay afloat and remain players in the industry, new business models must be evolved by our members but regulation and policies also need to be reviewed, fine-tuned and strengthened so that all and sundry can remain in business. To this end, new capacities must be developed to match the new opportunities that the new ecosystem is presenting.

ATCON firmly believes that this very important platform would provide a great opportunity for all critical stakeholders in the industry to leverage on this rare opportunity to share their views, contribute their expertise and experiences in discussion about best practices in their jurisdictions with a focus to grow and sustain the industry.

“We strongly believe in knowledge sharing that will further stimulate the accelerated development of our industry. Finally, we need to succeed in further winning the confidence of the international community to see Nigeria as a preferred investment destination in Africa.

“This is why we consider it a worthwhile venture to continually engage ourselves in programmes that would enable us to advance the frontiers of telecommunications/ICT in Nigeria”.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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Phase3 Moves on Multilayer Network Technology Upgrade

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Phase3 Telecom, leading independent fiber optic network infrastructure and telecommunications services provider  has said that it is amplifying the scope of network technology upgrades to enhance its communications, cloud and connectivity solutions across business and enterprise segments in Nigeria and the West African sub-region.

Phase3 Moves on Multilayer Network Technology Upgrade

This followed its ongoing Security Operation Centre (SOC) network capability upgrade.

This development, is targeted at expanding the scope of its enterprise solutions drive for its increasing user portfolio of small/large scale enterprises, institutions, corporates, services sector and multinational companies, contributing to the nation’s thriving broadband penetration drive.

According to Stanley Jegede, chairman, “the principal goal of Phase3 ongoing multilayer technology upgrade is to optimize “network infrastructure capabilities, scalability, interconnect operational capacity, resilience, service optimization and coverage that will enhance communications, cloud and connectivity projects across multiple locations to support more start-ups, growing businesses and institutions to boost economic growth and increase their successes.

He also added that this Phase3 technology upgrade is quite expansive in model, to accommodate the new digital realities and possibilities created by COVID-19.

Especially in the areas of amplified work-from-anywhere and dedicated remote connectivity solutions as well as service delivery that is targeted at increasing networks data handling capacity vis a vis making them faster and smarter as the current global clime demands.

In conclusion, he stated that beyond enhanced network backbone and bandwidth capabilities for point-to-multi point access, chief components such as network security and speed are the driving force of Phase3 new technology upgrade for secured and latency-free connections as well as growing network expansion plan.


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Unitellas Partners Zadara On Data Infrastructure Project

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Unitellas International Limited and its partner Zadara, have taken the bold initiative to save Nigeria from exposure to rising Cybercrime by making significant investment in data infrastructure in the country.

Unveiling the initiative in Lagos, Smith Osemeke, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Unitellas International Limited, revealed that Nigeria is hugely susceptible to cyber attacks due to failure to develop in-country data saving infrastructure.

Osemeke, observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments around the world to deliver vital Public Services in unprecedented ways and to experiment with Digital Technologies on an unforeseen scale.

According to him, In Nigeria, a lot of organizations had to turn to Local Service Providers and other Public Sector Organizations for help during the crisis, most of which are overburdened and challenged by outdated IT Systems.

As a result, a lot of organizations were forced to move their data to the Public Cloud through the services of AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.

This he continued had led many organizations in Nigeria to default on the guidelines on Local Content law i.e. all organizations operating within Nigeria should have their data stored within Nigeria.

Osemeke, alerted that Storing Data in the Public Cloud outside Nigeria creates the problem of Data Protection since data stored in the public cloud is exposed to Cyber and Ransomware attacks because the existing public cloud service providers do not provide Absolute Data Protection.

He noted that Sensitive Citizens data such as BVN, National Identity Numbers and other private and confidential details needs to be protected from such attacks and exposures.

“It becomes a challenge to uphold “Data sovereignty”- the concept of storing data within the Nation’s Borders. Since Local Service Providers are unable to effectively Store Data not to mention Protect Stored Data due to the fact that present Legacy Storage Infrastructures do not have the capabilities to offer the latest Data Protection Mechanism (DATA STORAGE IMMUTABILITY).”

He said that Local Service Providers in Nigeria cannot compete with international cloud service providers such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud in terms of Infrastructure, Pricing, Service Delivery and Management and as a result this has caused a lot of companies in Nigeria to patronize International Public Cloud Service Providers by Storing Data from Nigeria in other Countries thereby making it practically impossible to comply with the Local Content Law..

“As a result, Financial Service Institutions (FSI) and other Key Organizations invest Millions of Dollars annually in acquiring and managing IT Infrastructures instead of focusing on their Core Businesses because they must have an IT department to build and manage their Data Storage Infrastructure – a service that is supposed to be handled by Local Service Providers in Nigeria.

“If this sad narrative is not corrected, sensitive Data from Nigeria will continue to be hosted outside Nigeria and inevitably leading to Data Insecurity. Unfortunately, Nigeria is one of the countries lacking Data Security due to the inability of Service Providers to effectively Store and Protect Data Locally.” he said.

To reverse this ugly situation, Unitellas International Limited in Partnership with ZADARA is empowering all Service Providers in Nigeria to meet up with International Standards with regards to Data Storage Infrastructure, Service, Pricing and Security.

Unitellas is the official distributor of Zadara Solution in Nigeria, while Zadara is a renowned World Leader in Infrastructure -as-a-service and Enterprise Data Storage-as-a-service.

Osemeke said that Unitellas in partnership with Zadara is willing to empower local service providers in Nigeria to meet up with International Managed Service Providers (MSP) standards by providing Local service providers with Infrastructure-as-a-service and Enterprise-Storage-as-a-service model which eliminates huge Capital Expenditure (CapEX) with minimum Operational Expenditure (OpEX).

By subscribing to Zadara Data Storage services with Compute Capability, Local Service Providers and MSPs can now offer Data Storage and Compute services with the latest Data Protection Mechanism competing effectively with renowned Public Cloud Providers in Infrastructure, Security, Pricing, Management and Service.


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ICTEL EXPO 2020: Stakeholders Urge Nigerians to Seize Opportunities Provided by Digital Economy

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Nigerians have been urged to seize the opportunities provided by the digital economy especially now, that the nation is seeking ways to overcome the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and are deploying technology needed for economic recovery and sustainability.

The Information and Communications Technology ICT, Stakeholders disclosed this at the virtual Information Communication Technology and Telecommunications Conference and Exhibition, ICTEL EXPO 2020 with theme: ‘Exploring Opportunity in the Digital Economy’, organized by Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, president, Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry LCCI, speaking at the conference, said: “there is no better time to explore the opportunities provided by the digital economy than now when every nation is seeking ways to overcome the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. And as nations face dwindling growth, deployment of technology is key to economic recovery and sustainability.”

She explained that the new normal brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has ensured that virtually all sectors have now leveraged ICT for optimal performance.

According to her, “This is evident in the financial services sector, where almost all banking transactions are conducted through digital channels, the agriculture sector, where sophisticated technologies, such as robots, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images and global positioning systems, the GPS technologies, are largely employed.

“Nigeria has witnessed a phenomenal growth in its ICT sector over the past decade.

“The ICT sector remains one of the most resilient sectors of the Nigerian economy, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a foremost private sector body in Nigeria today, established since 1888, the Lagos Chamber is providing, through this expo, an incredible platform, to advance the opportunities and linkages in the world of ICT”, she concluded.

Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, while declaring the conference and exhibition open, said that globally, digital revolution is changing lives and societies, with unprecedented speed and scale, delivering immense opportunities, as well as associated challenges.

“As predicted by the World Economic Forum, over 60% of global Gross Domestic Product, (GDP), will be digitized, by 2022 and that, over the next decade, digital platforms, will be used to create, close to 70% of new value”, Pantami noted.

The Minister, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Mr. Ayuba Shuaibu, stressed that: “globally, businesses are shifting from brick and mortar form, to innovative enterprises driven by digital technologies and now is the time for business, enterprises and organisations, to reinvent and automate, to fit into the global digital economy.

“I want to congratulate the Director General and members of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry for organising this Information Communication Technology and Telecommunications Conference and Exhibition, ICTEL EXPO 2020, to spotlight this national discourse, on how we can take advantage of digital technology for accelerating our economy”, he concluded.

Delivering her keynote address, Ms Funke Opeke, CEO/Managing Director, MainOne and Chairmperson, Presidential Committee on National Broadband Plan, identified three activities that will enable digital economy to work well in our clime. These include connectivity, a device and a platform that enables one to connect with parties at the other end.

“When we look at private sector participation in Nigeria and the challenges we face as an economy, especially with the recession, with the dip growth rate and high inflation economy that we have and I think the recognition, globally, that growth across the world can only be fuelled by digital adoption in the years to come. I think it is important that our government provide more support to the ICT industry”, she concluded.

Some panel discussions also took place on the first day of the event, while some companies exhibited their products and solutions to the general populace, via the online virtual platform.


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