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FG Moves to Curb Cybercrime Threat

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Following the rise in cybercrime in recent times, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has said that the federal government is now ready the expand its horizon to protect the nation’s cyberspace.

The Minister reiterated government’s commitment to address the growing rate of cybercrime during a keynote address he delivered at the NGSecure Infosecurity Conference put together by DIFENSORE in Lagos recently.

Speaking on the theme: ‘Cybersecurity Framework for National Security’, Shittu said in view of the critical nature of the economy and government activities, “it is obvious that protection from different types of cyber and terrorist attacks is required.”

Shittu added: “Our cyberspace is being exploited to aid radicalism and violent extremism and government have realised that those tasked with the responsibility to protect our cyberspace can no longer function within a framework of the past.”

According to the minister, to address emerging cyber threats, “the government has setup computer emergency response teams through the Office of the NSA and NITDA. Additionally, to further improve the nation’s preparedness to secure the cyberspace, the Cybercrime Advisory Council has also been inaugurated. The council is expected to facilitate the implementation of the Cybercrime Act, 2015, as well as the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy.”

He however said there was a need for accelerated Information and Communications Technology (ICT) development to foster inclusive development and address rising youth unemployment and other developmental challenges.

Shittu assured organisers of the conference of his support and collaboration to fight the ills in the country’s cyber space. “Nigerians should therefore feel free to submit to me any realistic blueprint for my dispassionate consideration and immediate implementation,” he said.

The minister also said government’s proactive measure was necessary because Nigeria’s growing dependence on digital infrastructure poses grave threats to national security as the country loses about N127 billion which is 0.08 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), yearly to cybercrime.

He identified software piracy, identity theft, electronic fraud, online spam, intellectual property theft and malware attacks as capable of having devastating and far reaching consequences on the economy.

Shittu urged the gathering to view Information Technology (IT) for national safety and security beyond a narrow focus on the usual security concerns and expand the scope to see IT for national safety and security as an outstanding and indispensable revenue earner, job creator, youth developer, innovation enabler and growth stimulator.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Interswitch is the Most Valuable African Startup

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Interswitch, the leading payment processing company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, is Africa’s most valuable start-up at a US$ 1 billion valuation.

Founded in 2002, Interswitch uses switching infrastructure to connect different banks in Nigeria and powered banks’ ATM cards. Presently, the company has over 11,000 ATMs on its network.

In 2010, Helios Investment Partners bought two-thirds of the company and in the following year, Interswitch bought a 60 percent stake in Bankom in Uganda.

Interswitch owns Verve, Nigeria’s most used payment card, and accounted for 18 million of 25 million cards in circulation in Nigeria. The company also owns Quickteller and recently purchased VANSO, a mobile-focused technology provider to banks.

Like Interswitch, Stripe, the company that acquired Nigeria’s Paystack for over US$200 million, is the most valuable startup in the USA at over US$70 billion valuation.

Klarna, Nubank, Paytm and Grab leads in Europe, Latin America, India and Southeast Asia with valuations of US$10.65 billion, US$10 billion, US$16 billion and US$14 billion, respectively.

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E-commerce Black Friday Sales Estimated to Surge by 40% to 10.2 Billion

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The 2020 holiday shopping season will be unique, as the pandemic shifted consumer behavior from retail stores to online shopping. In response, many retailers moved their services online to not miss out on this year’s profits. Atlas VPN team decided to look into how e-commerce sales are set to perform in the upcoming long weekend.

Researchers predict that the US e-commerce revenue will exceed last year’s earnings by 49.5% on Thanksgiving day, totaling $6.18 billion in revenue. Black Friday is calculated to reach $10.2 billion in sales, exceeding last years numbers by 39.4%

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her tips on how to stay safe when shopping online during the holiday season:

“Watch out for too-good-to-be-true deals from unknown sellers, as cybercriminals will also expect to turn a profit during the holiday season, even though they are not selling anything, except maybe a bag full of disappointment.”

 Finally, analysis shows that on the last day of the long and full of special offers Thanksgiving weekend, consumers will go all out to bring record sales for e-commerce businesses, adding up to $12.89 billion.

To look at these five days from a wider perspective, e-commerce companies can expect to earn around 39.72% more than they did last year.

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Alibaba Merchants Sell $40B in First Half Hour of Singles Day 2020, More than 2019 Event Full Sales

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Singles Day 2020 was a roaring success, cementing its position as the world’s biggest shopping holiday. Sales across Alibaba’s platforms during the event totaled $74.1 billion, up from $38 billion in 2019.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Stock Apps, within the first 30 minutes of the event, the gross merchandise volume (GMV) surpassed 2019’s full-event sales, reaching $40.87 billion.

Moreover, instead of live events, Alibaba had 400 company executives and 30 celebrities hosting livestreams. Based on a study by Coresight, the Chinese livestream market is set to rack in sales worth $125 billion in 2020, compared to $63 billion in 2019. The US livestream market is a small fraction of that, valued at $5 billion.

China’s Tech Heavyweights Lose $280 Billion in Market Cap

Alibaba Singles Day 2020 dwarfed other major shopping holidays as has been the trend in previous years.

According to Practical eCommerce, Amazon Prime Day 2020 sales totaled $10.4 billion up from $7.16 billion in 2019. Cyber Monday sales in the US amounted to $7.9 billion in 2020 according to Statista. Black Friday and Thanksgiving added $9.7 billion to the figure to make $17.6 billion for the weekend.

Similarly, in 2018, Singles Day sold $30.8 billion while Prime Day sold $4.19 billion and Thanksgiving weekend got $14.2 billion.

However, the 2020 Singles Day event came in the wake of Ant Group’s suspension of a $37 billion listing. The suspension resulted in a $76 billion drop in Alibaba’s market cap, as the tech giant owns a two-thirds stake in Ant Group. Moreover, China’s regulators released anti-trust draft rules prior to the event, aimed at controlling monopolistic behavior.

Following the release, Alibaba shares plunged by 9.8%, as JD.com shed off 9.2%. Tencent similarly saw a 7.39% drop and Xiaomi fell by 8.18%. For the five companies, there was a combined loss of $280 billion in market capitalization.

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