The rise of mobile technology has brought undeniable benefits. We now have instant access to information, global connections, and increased control over our data. But this digital age also carries significant risks for privacy, security, and equality – mobile security threats.
Recognizing this double-edged sword, the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) Lagos State Chapter hosted a timely webinar. The topic: “Threat Landscape for Mobile Devices: Emerging Risks and Countermeasures.”
The event tackled both sides of the mobile coin. Its empowering and convenient aspects, and the privacy concerns and misuse that arise alongside them.
Empowerment and Convenience:
-Individuals now hold more power over their data. We can access vast information and connect across the globe in seconds.
-Data fuels advancements in healthcare, retail, education, and more, fostering efficiency and personalization.
Privacy Concerns and Misuse:
-Data breaches, surveillance, and unethical practices threaten privacy rights.
-Online content sharing facilitates the spread of misinformation and manipulation.
-Algorithmic biases can perpetuate inequalities and lead to unfair outcomes.
-Reliance on mobile creates vulnerabilities to cyberattacks, endangering personal data, sensitive information, and infrastructure.
Audience and Resource Persons
This critical topic drew a diverse audience, including users, IT professionals, and policymakers. Engaging discussions and knowledge exchange unfolded between panelists, experts, and attendees.
Panelists emphatically addressed the erosion of trust in our digital systems. This lack of trust, they argued, stifles innovation and inclusivity, hindering the potential of a truly thriving digital society.
In light of this, I was honoured to moderate the NCS Lagos Cybersecurity webinar. The panel featured Mr. Awobifa Olamide Seyi, CISA, CISM, CEH (a cybersecurity expert), Mrs. Folake Etomi (the Lagos State Chapter Coordinator for Nigerian Women In Information Technology (NIWIIT)), and Mr. Segun H. Olugbile (President of the Global Network For Cybersolution).
Mr. Awobifa led a captivating discussion on the evolving landscape of mobile security risks. His presentation left the audience engaged and eager to learn more. Mrs. Etomi and Mr. Olugbile’s expert and strategic insights further enriched the conversation for participants.
The webinar undeniably offered valuable insights for navigating this complex landscape. Participants gained knowledge on the latest mobile threats and vulnerabilities in Nigeria, practical countermeasures to secure their devices and data, and best practices for staying safe in the digital world.
By recognizing the risks and taking necessary precautions, we can harness the power of mobile technology while protecting ourselves and building a more equitable and trusted digital future for all.
As the webinar moderator, I am particularly grateful to the participants for their enthusiastic engagement, which truly energized the atmosphere. I deeply appreciate the panelists’ illuminating insights and the practical expertise they shared, leaving attendees feeling informed and empowered. My heartfelt gratitude extends to the team at Konn3ct, led by CEO Femi Williams, whose reliable and powerful conferencing platform seamlessly powered the event. Finally, I express my sincere thanks to the NCS Lagos team, led by its Chairman, Mr. Kunle Oladipupo, FNCS and Vice Chairman Mrs. Funmilola Omojola, for the opportunity to play a role in such a positive and worthy event.
Mobile Security Threats in Nigeria? Expert Panel Discusses Emerging Risks & Countermeasures!
The panelists agreed that mobile technology development and penetration in Nigeria and Africa present both opportunities and challenges when it comes to personal information and data. They called for a critical and informed approach, acknowledging the complexity of the issues highlighted by Mr. Awobifa Olamide Seyi’s impactful presentation.
Mr. Awobifa noted that mobile devices are changing the game. As technology changes, so does the threat landscape. Mobile devices are vulnerable to malware, phishing scams, and hacking attempts, putting personal data and financial information at risk. With deepening integration, hacking, surveillance, and other risks are on the rise. These negative issues cast a shadow over mobile technology’s potential for good, highlighting the need for user discipline.
His presentation expertly covered countermeasures, focusing on both tools and user discipline. For the panelists, mobile security and cybersecurity are crucial aspects of mitigating the negative impacts of data accessibility in the digital age. Mrs. Etomi, in looking at the different layers of user security, reemphasized the need for user awareness in view of our growing dependence on mobile devices.
Accordingly, Mr. Olugbile called for more webinars like this one. He urged users to become more vigilant and take proactive steps to protect their devices and data. Mr. Olugbile persuasively called for assessing mobile security threats from the perspective of risk. This approach includes risks related to humans, data, and other factors. He therefore reminded participants that their mobile device is a critical personal asset and emphasized the need for greater personal responsibility, a deeper understanding of personal governance, risk, and compliance essentials, and a solid grasp of their risk exposure.
My argument is that it’s important to remember that while it’s easy to get drowned in the negativity of mobile risks and cyber threats, we shouldn’t overlook the opportunities they present. Driving investment in capacity building, entrepreneurship, and solution provision in cybersecurity creates new jobs and industries.
Mobile security threats in Nigeria and NCS Lagos’s role:
Firstly, Advocate and provide regulatory advisory. Raise awareness especially about important policy issues and advocate for a more secure mobile future for everyone. Secondly, Actively engage in shaping the digital future by voicing concerns and supporting initiatives that promote responsible, ethical, and secure mobile technology to shape the future of the digital age for the better. Thirdly, Collaborate with other stakeholders to proactively boost awareness, equip individuals with skills and capacity, keep the dialogue going, and jointly explore potential solutions. Fourthly, Prioritize research and development (R&D), education, and innovation in AI, and Blockchain to transform and advance cybersecurity.
By understanding the risks and advocating for responsible data practices, we can ensure that technology serves as a force for good, empowering individuals and unlocking the true potential of the digital world. Again, I express my gratitude for being part of this outstanding webinar experience.
The way forward, undoubtedly, lies in finding a balance between harnessing the positive aspects of mobile data accessibility and mitigating the negative consequences. This requires individual awareness, collective action, and robust regulatory frameworks. Significantly, I believe that collective action and a commitment to building a more equitable and responsible digital world are crucial.
Let’s all join NCS Lagos in this journey to build a sustainable and dynamic community actively engaged in addressing mobile security challenges in Nigeria. Through adopting a proactive and solution-oriented perspective, together, we can build a more secure and resilient digital future.
Author: Jide Awe
Science, Technology and Innovation policy advisor.
Find him on Twitter @jidaw