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New Audit Standard for MDAs Underway — NITDA

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cyber-security
  • New Audit Standard for MDAs Underway

The National Information Technology Development Agency is developing a new standard for information technology audit for Ministries, Agencies and Departments, the Director-General of the agency, Dr. Isa Ibrahim, has said.

Ibrahim, who said this at the 8th Annual ISACA International Conference in Abuja, also disclosed that the agency had secured approval of the National Council on Communications for implementation of Information Security Management System across the MDAs.

The NITDA boss, represented by the Director of Standards at the agency, Mr. Lazarus Ikoti, said another document to serve as the focus for the development of the ICT sector was also underway.

According to him, some websites belonging to some MDAs disappear after working for only two weeks and later reappear as an item for budgeting.

He said a new information system audit would eliminate such wastes and create a special market and employment opportunities for youths.

Ibrahim said, “Since I assumed office as Director-General of the NITDA, I have been working on a document, which will serve as the focus for the development of the IT in Nigeria. One of the issues dear to my heart is cyber security.

“Cyberattacks do not only cause economic havoc but also social and security concerns. Because of its consequences, cyber security must be given due attention.”

He added, “Just two weeks ago, the NITDA presented a memo for the implementation of Information Security Management System for all the MDAs to minimise the impact of cybercrime. There is no doubt that our various systems are vulnerable to attack.

“Because of the importance of the memo, council unanimously adopted it and directed all the MDAs to implement the standards for their ICT infrastructure. The NITDA is currently working/developing a policy document for the security of government ICT infrastructure.”

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, said the changing work environment and storage of information had provided a compelling case for the nation to pay a closer attention to the issue of cyber security.

He said, “In the financial services world of today, banking transactions are fast leaving the four walls of brick and mortar branches to the clouds; Increasing transactions are being done via the ATM, POS, Internet banking, and mobile money; account opening is now possible on social media platforms such as Facebook.

“Besides, the information on all registered citizens of Nigeria is stored in the cloud. The electoral process today also involves use of electronic card readers. The use of the CCTV is very common in most organisations and even households today.

“Mobile communication and e-mailing and social media communication are now the order of the day. Use of computers and other office support systems are obvious in all offices today. Electronic commerce and online malls are very prevalent. Electricity and transportation have also gone digital, using prepaid. This developmental approach, as good as it is, is faced with war with cybercriminal elements.”

Shittu said recent data from the NITDA showed that there were a total of about 3,500 cyberattacks in Nigeria, 70 per cent of which were successful. The attacks, he added, led to a loss of about $450m.

He said ISACA with the skills, knowledge and reservoir of professionals to fight the menace of cyber-attacks would need to work closely with the government on dealing with risks attached to the increasing digital environment in the country.

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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