Nigerian breaks record in UK Varsity, bags distinction in computer security

Bode Agbola

A Nigerian ICT expert, Bode Agbola, has broken academic records at the prestigious University of Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, graduating with distinction at the end of his master’s degree programme.

Mr Agbola said in an online interview that attaining the feat was not easy. He also said he was willing to be of help to Nigeria in the fight against cyber-crime, based on his exposure, experience and knowledge.

He was proud to have made his country proud in the UK. “I am happy my academic excellence has given people globally reasons to see Nigeria from a positive angle once again. Having a distinction in Masters, Computer Security and Forensics from one of the prestigious universities in the world is, by all means, a great feat.

“It is easy for anybody to assume that all it takes to become academically excellent is to be born with intellect and intelligence. Natural attribute such as intelligence can never make you attain a first class or a distinction, but with a combination of hard work, dedication, resilience, tenacity and being focused. These are the qualities and the attributes that were instrumental to my Distinction.

“Nigeria recorded about 3,500 cyber-attacks in the last one year. This resulted to an average loss of USD 500 million.  To see this from a bigger picture, this amount is almost 0.82 of Nigeria’s GDP. It was also a proven record that there were more than 73 percent success rate for all the attacks.

“This amount should be able to pay salaries of 5,000 cyber security consultants for 5 years if each annual income is 6,500,000. There are few Nigeria organisations doing well in fighting cyber insecurity and a lot are clueless.

“Some have established Security Operating Centers (SOC) where proactive and reactive approaches to vulnerability management are handled. The question is if the right and effective tools are used for vulnerability management.

“Japan, United Kingdom, India, China, Germany, Italy, United States of America, Spain, Netherlands and Taipei, Chinese (Taiwan) are the countries who are doing well in fighting cyber insecurity. Their approach is not only based on deploying strong technical approaches but by implementing and auditing standardized Information Security Management System (ISMS).

“Having effective Intrusion Detection System (IDS) is good. Setting up SOC is brilliant. Performing digital forensic analysis on the systems and logs before and or after an attack is great. But if the same result that has been archived by the countries who are best prepared against cyber-attack is to be achieved in Nigeria, we have to do what they did and even improve on it. They are simply strong in the implementation and auditing of ISMS in addition to their technical and technological approaches.”

According to Agbola, Nigeria could successfully fight and overcome cybercrimes if she had the political will.

He said “if Nigeria would want to be out of the global map of cyber-unsecured nations, we need to do what those on the map of cyber-secured nations have done, probably more. We need to improve on our data privacy management.

“Imagine a bank sending me an email on predict and win during the just concluded world cup tournament. I gave my email address to the bank for the purpose of opening and operating a personal bank account but same personal identifiable data is used for another business that was not mutually consented to.

“I will not fail to appreciate the effort of Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for preparing 34 point data protection guidelines. I think we need more than guideline, we need legislations, we need regulations. European Union members before 25th of May 2018 were managing their data privacy using ‘Directives’ but now the enforcement of a regulation which comes with fines and fees have replaced the toothless directives such as Data guidelines released by NITDA. EU now have Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enforced since 25th of May, 2018.”