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Study Finds More than Half of Companies Use AI, IoT in their Business Processes in META

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A recent Kaspersky study has revealed that more than 50% of companies surveyed have implemented Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) in their businesses’ infrastructures. Additionally, 33% are planning to adopt these interconnected technologies within two years.

In the Middle East, Turkiye and Africa (META) region, 55% of respondents have implemented AI and 34% are planning to do so, while IoT are used in 44% of organisations with 45% planning to use them. Business owners must ensure they have the right caliber of cybersecurity solutions to secure them, experts recommend.

Interconnected technologies are the growing network of devices, systems and applications connected to the Internet and each other.

They transform enterprises, enabling them to gather more data and automate processes. But they also bring new risks and challenges when securing business assets and safeguarding customers.

Kaspersky conducted a study ‘Connecting the future of business’, which aims to help companies stay ahead of the changes interconnected technologies bring, posing critical questions regarding the way cybersecurity must adapt to them.

For this purpose, the company surveyed 560 senior IT security leaders from North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Turkiye and Africa, Russia and Asia-Pacific.

In this survey, Kaspersky sought to examine what respondents think of the following interconnected technologies:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI),
  • Internet of Things (IoT),
  • Augmented reality (AR), Virtual reality (VR) and digital twins,
  • 6G and converged cloud networks,
  • Web 3.0 which enables decentralised applications, blockchain smart contracts and user-managed data,
  • Data spaces that enable seamless data sharing in collaborative settings.

The research found that AI and IoT are already used by 54% and 51% of companies respectively (55% and 44% in the META region). One in three plans to adopt them within two years (in META 34% plan to use AI and 45% IoT). Data spaces are used by 32% of businesses, with nearly half (49%) intending to adopt them in the near future (the figures are 34% and 45% in META).

Other interconnected technologies (digital twins, AR, VR, web 3.0, 6G and converged cloud networks), are used by only one in five (20-21%) companies participating in the survey, but more than 70% are considering integrating them into their business processes soon. The figures are similar in the META region, with just 6G and converged cloud networks being a bit different – 18% of respondents already use them, 80% have them in plan.

Because AI and IoT have become so widespread, they are vulnerable to new vectors of cyberattacks. According to the research, 16-17% of organisations think AI and IoT are ‘very difficult’ or ‘extremely difficult’ to protect (18% and 16% in META), while only 8% of the AI users and 12% of the IoT owners believe their companies are fully protected (9% and 14% in META).

However, as we can see, the less widespread the implementation of technologies, the more difficult it is for companies to protect them and vice versa.

For instance, the least adopted AR/VR and converged cloud networks, are the most challenging technologies to protect in terms of cyber defense, with 39-40% of companies saying they are difficult to secure (37-38% in META).

“Interconnected technologies bring immense business opportunities but they also usher in a new era of vulnerability to serious cyberthreats. With an increasing amount of data being collected and transmitted, cybersecurity measures must be strengthened.

“Enterprises must protect critical assets, build customer confidence amid the expanding interconnected landscape, and ensure there are adequate resources allocated to cybersecurity so they can use the new solutions to combat the incoming challenges of interconnected tech.

“Businesses integrating AI and IoT into their infrastructure need to protect it with Container Security and Extended Detection and Response solutions, to detect cyberthreats at early stages and provide effective defense,” comments Ivan Vassunov, VP, Corporate products, Kaspersky.

Given the scale of change that interconnected technologies is likely to bring, organisations must develop a strategy to implement and protect them. Based on the research findings, Kaspersky recommends four effective ways to ensure organisations are prepared to protect interconnected technologies:

  1. Adopt secure-by-design principles. By integrating cybersecurity into each stage of the software development lifecycle, secure-by-design software and hardware become resilient against cyberattacks, contributing to the overall security of digital systems.

Cyber Immune solutions based on KasperskyOS, for instance, allow companies to minimise the threat surface and significantly decrease the ability of cybercriminals to perform a successful attack.

  1. Train and upskill your workforce. Building a cyber-aware culture requires a comprehensive strategy that empowers employees to gain knowledge and put it into practice. With Kaspersky Expert training, InfoSec professionals can advance their skills and defend their companies against attacks.
  2. Upgrade your cybersecurity solutions and use centralised and automated platforms such as Kaspersky Extended Detection and Response (XDR). As companies adopt interconnected technologies, they need cybersecurity solutions with more advanced features, enabling them to collect and correlate telemetry from multiple sources and provide effective threat detection and rapid automated response.

As many AI solutions are built on containers, it’s important to secure the infrastructure they are integrated in with cybersecurity products – such as Kaspersky Container Security – that allows companies to detect security issues at every stage of the app lifecycle, from development to operation.

  1. Meet regulations to avoid legal problems or reputational damage, by ensuring your cybersecurity practice meets changing standards and legal requirements.

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Nigerian Banks Lost over N8Bn to Internet Fraudsters in 2022-  EFCC

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday said  that banks in the country lost over N8 billion to internet fraud, otherwise known as Yahoo-Yahoo Boys, in 2022.

Nigerian Banks Lost over N8Bn to Internet Fraudsters in 2022-  EFCC

Ola Olukoyede, chairman of the commission, also disclosed how Yahaya Bello, former governor of Kogi state allegedly moved a staggering $720,000 from the state account to pay his child’s school fees.

Olukoyede,  who made the disclosure during an interactive session with media executives in Abuja, narrated how cyber crime has hurt the companies and its negative effects in attracting direct foreign investment for the country. He lamented that no fewer than 71 percent of companies operating in Nigeria were victims of cybercrime in 2022 even as he argued that the Commission’s war against internet fraud is about safeguarding the country’s future.

“In 2022 alone, I’m waiting for the report of 2023, we discovered that more than 71 percent of Nigerian industries, companies and firms fell victim to cyber crime. Now, which country or company would thrive with this kind of thing? “You want to attract foreign direct investment; the moment you come in, Yahoo boys will attack your platform. You start losing money and you think they would stay?

“Is that not what we are seeing? We are rescuing the future of Nigeria by going into this cyber crime investigation and prosecution.

“Now, within that period, the Nigerian economy lost $706 million (via) these companies through cyber crime, to the activities of these Yahoo Yahoo boys because we don’t take them seriously now, not knowing that we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder.

“The alarming statistics continued with Nigerian banks losing over N8 billion to electronic transfer fraud in the first  nine months of 2022.

“A system lost over N8 billion to a particular scheme of fraud and you are asking EFCC to close its eyes to that kind of situation. Are we even fair to ourselves?”

He said the agency is prosecuting two of its operatives for violating the agency’s code of conduct.

He said the commission has made some reforms to enhance its fight against corruption, including the creation of the directorate of fraud risk assessment/control and ethics/integrity.

 

 


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Students Loans’ Beneficiaries to Start Repayment 2 Years after Graduation-  NELFUND:

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Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) has said that students in tertiary institutions and approved vocational centres would start repayment of the loan two years after graduation.

Students Loans’ Beneficiaries to Start Repayment 2 Years after Graduation-  NELFUND:

However, NELFUND management specifically stated that the repayment of the loan would commence if the students secured a job or went into business.

Mr. Akintunde Sawyerr, managing director, NELFUND, said the Act specify a moratorium of two years after graduation for the students to begin repayment of the loan.

Sawyerr said if the students start work, his employer would be expected to remit 10 percent into NELFUND dedicated account.

He added: “The loan does not have a specified repayment tenure. It makes it easy for students to apply for the loan. NELFUND would pay according to the documents provided by the institutions. We cannot put tenure on the loan; some will die, drop out, ‘Japa’ or refuse to pay. While those who went into business would pay into same account.

“It is a revolving a loan. We will not put students under pressure to get the loan and we are not going to state a tenure because it is not a commercial loan.’’

According to him, the loan is meant for students in public universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and vocational institutes, who apply via NELFUND portal and are expected to present their JAMB admission letter, NIN and BVN.

He explained that non-students would not have access to the loan and that NELFUND has put the necessary machinery in place to ensure that beneficiaries can be reached when the need arises.

His words: “We are using technology to run the new system. The process of application is online through our dedicated portal and we are limiting human contact as much as possible. Once you have a Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identification Number (NIN), which are parts of the requirements, we will have access to your data and all your accounts. This will also help us to know if you are qualified or not,” Sawyerr stated.

The MD disclosed that students already in institution are eligible to apply for the loan at any level of their study and must be at the beginning of each academic session.

He noted that such students would have to provide their admission and matriculation details in addition to BVN and NIN.

Sawyerr added that about 1.2 million Nigerian students in tertiary institutions and government-recognized vocational centres would be among the first batch of beneficiaries and that the figure would increase as time goes on.

The NELFUND boss disclosed that the scheme would be funded from one per cent of the total annual revenue by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which would amount to N194 billion if the agency meets its projection.

Sawyerr observed that the loan would be paid in two segments, the first, being the school fees, which would be paid directly to the institutions while stipend would be paid into students’ account for their day-to-day upkeep.

He added that the amount individual students would access varies because of the course of study, school fees and geographical location of the institutions.

“You don’t start paying back the loan until two years after your National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme and you have secured a job or business. A beneficiary can defer repayment if he has not secured a job, but if after due diligence, he/she defaulted, then the student becomes a criminal and we will work with government agency that can help us get the money back, for example, EFCC, ICPC,” Sawyerr stated.


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GPA Raises Alarm, Says Malaria Vaccine Can Cause Meningitis

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Global Prolife Alliance (GPA), global health organization, has told the National Assembly that the intended malaria vaccine currently proposed by Bill Gates, American billionaire, for Nigeria can trigger meningitis in the populace.

GPA Raises Alarm, Says Malaria Vaccine Can Cause Meningitis

Dr. Philip Njemanze, chairman of GPA, gave the warning in a statement released to newsmen in Owerri, the Imo state capital.

Njemanze, known for being pro-health in the Catholic church, charged the national assembly not to be in a hurry to succumb to the pressure of the bill currently before the house.

He said the vaccine may trigger the deaths of millions of Nigerian children prone to cerebral meningitis, especially in the northern part of the country.

Part of the letter read “Among the side effects is a tenfold increase in cerebral meningitis. Nigeria is endemic for cerebral meningitis. A tenfold increase could cause the deaths of millions of children, especially in northern Nigeria.

“Please intervene and call for a public hearing, for an open public discussion on the pros and cons with expert opinions from both sides. This will help the Nigerian people to be better informed about granting or withholding consent for the vaccination.

“Your intervention could save millions of lives, especially in northern Nigeria, where meningitis is most endemic, particularly at this time of serious insecurity,” Njemanze warned.

 

 


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