Experts lament the lack of digital skills to fight cybercrime –

Experts have raised concerns about the growing shortage of general digital skills occasioned by the brain drain in Africa, saying such a development would lead to an increase in cyberattacks and crimes with catastrophic consequences for businesses, governments and citizens.

This was the consensus of the panelists at the April edition of the Information Security Society of Africa – Nigeria (ISSAN) monthly meeting on the theme: “Solving the cybersecurity skills quagmire”.

They felt that African countries urgently need to begin intentional digital skills development at all levels, support for smart technologies, engagement with the diaspora, and strategic provision of digital skills to Africa.

Keynote speakers included ISSAN Chairman Dr. David Isiavwe; Founder/CEO, Digital Jewels, Doyin Odunfa; Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Stanbic IBTC, Abumere Igboa; RSSI, Heritage Bank, Eduje Ighoakpo; CISO, First Bank, Harrison Nnaji; CISO, Standard Chartered Bank, Oghenefovie Oyawari and Tokunbo Taiwo, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Digital Jewels among several other speakers.

According to Odunfa, the shortage of general digital skills at all levels is expected to become more critical as economies develop, noting that the supply of skilled digital labor must also increase to meet anticipated market needs. work. She observed that highly skilled African professionals have emigrated from African countries to pursue lucrative cultural and socio-economic opportunities in other continents, resulting in a brain drain and skills gap on the continent. While offering solutions, she went further recommending the intentional development of digital skills at all levels, support for smart technologies, collaboration with the diaspora and strategic sourcing of Africa and Western economies. “These young Africans are seeking higher paying jobs outside of Africa to escape socio-economic limitations such as poverty, limited infrastructure and rudimentary jobs. They seek conducive environments in developed countries that provide rewarding businesses and obtain lucrative jobs, matching the aspirations of skilled individuals and the expected socio-economic reward. Many highly talented African students who get overseas training opportunities and scholarships do not return home after completing their studies.

In his welcoming remarks, ISSAN President Dr. David Isiavwe said that the brain drain in Africa as well as the shortage of digital skills that the world is currently experiencing are of concern. According to him, “the cyber threat landscape is always evolving. The cybersecurity space is getting busier every day. We’ve seen how daring cybercriminals can be, targeting both domestic assets and those of highly reputable companies. Even individuals are not left out. Therefore, it becomes imperative that organizations never cease to maintain and reinforce best practices in information security.

The Information Security Society of Africa – Nigeria (ISSAN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Nigeria’s cyberspace. They participate significantly in the security of banking systems and applications, ATMs, e-government systems and the entire cyberspace in Nigeria. ISSAN also seeks to achieve its objectives through awareness-raising measures, including the promotion of appropriate legislation and best practices. Membership covers both the public and private sectors of the economy, including banks, telecommunications operators, government parastatals, switching companies, IT and IT security consultants, legal practitioners with a keen interest in issues related to cybersecurity, regulators.

ISSAN, which has been in existence for over 10 years in Nigeria, has proven to be a true platform for collaboration and exchange of ideas among members of the banking and e-commerce public, especially with regard to the PINS retention, password control, Internet access, and the steps organizations must take to keep their systems safe and secure at all times. ISSAN therefore plays a vital role in ensuring that information security professionals find their voice on information security issues and that all stakeholders are duly informed of the steps to be taken to contribute their small quota to ensure a safe society for all of us.

Melvin B. Baillie