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Nigeria at Risk of Attack, Experts Warn

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  • Nigeria at Risk of Attack, Experts Warn

Cyber experts in the country on Sunday said that the Federal Government and sectoral regulators must become more alert and fortify security in the cyberspace after last Friday’s wave of cyberattacks that hit 200,000 targets in at least 150 countries.

They said the cyberattacks, which had been on before now, could spread to Nigeria and urged banks to get more sophisticated.

The Director-General, Delta State Innovation Hub, Chris Uwaje, said the attackers “are part of the invisible elements” attacking economies, adding, “There are some from Syria, Kenya and Iran that are launching attack on Nigeria’s cyberspace.”

He said Nigeria must build sophisticated software capability with human resource and called for the introduction of software army in the country and national software legislation that must be backed by law.

“In the United States, you can’t develop software without the involvement of the Federal Bureau of Intelligence and you can’t sell without being certified. There must be a cohesive Office of the Information Technology-General of the Federation so that we can monitor everything the IT and cybersecurity in Nigeria.

“The issue is critically serious and Nigeria must act fast by enthroning the National Software Board, the Establishment of National IT Bill and the Enactment of Software Deployment Act and an institutional framework to be controlled and managed by the Office of the Information Technology General of the Federation. It must be noted that most government servers are also under serious threats of hacking,” Uwaje stated.

The cyber experts warned that going by the porous nature of Nigeria’s cyberspace, voluntary or involuntary insider compromise and poor Information Technology standards, the country’s financial system might be headed for a face-off with North Korea’s cyber criminals.

According to them, while banks have not come out to lament any loss or attack, the success of the attacks on financial institutions has always been more of insider collusion.

Our correspondent gathered that there were conjectures that the North Korean hackers were aimed at mobilising funds for the cash-strapped country to develop its North nuclear programme.

A report has quoted the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Central Bank of Nigeria, Isaac Okorafor, as saying, “We have not had anything like that in Nigeria and I am not aware of such attacks on any Nigerian bank.”

However, the Director of Banking and Payments System, CBN, as well as the Chairman, Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum, ‘Dipo Fatokun, said that hacking and cyberattack “are ongoing challenges across the world against banks.”

Admitting that the threats were real, he said that the regulator was on top of the situation with various policies and standards to ward off the attempts, saying there is no cause for fear.

He, however, said, “We have the IT standards for banks and we are monitoring compliance. But we continue to reiterate the need for data protection. It has only been the major route for cyber attack and hacking.”

The President of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association Nigeria, Tope Aladenusi, said no bank had confirmed any attack, adding that it was only a report.

Aladenusi said there was no evidence to suggest how it was done, but there were claims that the Internet Protocol address system of the attack was from North Korea.

He said the supposed malware called Lazarus was used to access people’s and organisations’ systems, saying, “The malware tries to compromise some vulnerable systems, whether in banks or organisations, and subsequently attacks other systems.”

Aladenusi, who also heads the cybersecurity arm of Delloitte Nigeria, advised that organisations must make it difficult for hackers to come near their systems by putting up measures including security tools and governance.

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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Smart City Startups to Generate $110.7B in Revenue by 2025, a Trifold Increase in Five Years

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Smart City Startup - Investors King

Smart city startups offer innovative solutions for urban challenges, including public and cybersecurity threats, traffic congestion, energy management, and e-governance. Over the years, the revenues of these companies increased significantly and are expected to continue growing in the future.

According to data presented by Aksje Bloggen, smart city startups worldwide are expected to generate $110.7bn in revenue by 2025, a trifold increase in five years.

Asian, European and American Smart City Startups to Witness Three-Digit Revenue Growth

Smart cities aim to cater to the growing urban population while improving on safety, sustainability, and mobility. These initiatives are backed by new technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things using sensors and data collection to gather large amounts of public data available for researchers and startups to work with.

Last year, smart city startups worldwide generated $32.3bn in revenue, revealed the Statista survey. This figure includes all revenue that companies generated by offering technologies and products that use information, data and connectivity technologies to create more value within the public city environment.

In 2021, smart city startups’ revenues are expected to grow by $6.7bn and then surge by a staggering $71.7bn in the next four years.

Analyzed by regions, Asian smart city startups are expected to generate $14.9bn or 38% of total revenues in 2021. By 2025, this figure is forecast to soar by 232% to $49.6bn.

European smart city startups are expected to witness a 166% revenue growth in this period, rising from $8.7bn in 2021 to $23.16bn in 2025.

North American startups follow with $12.3bn in revenue in 2021. Statista data show this value is set to grow by 152% and reach $31.2bn in the next four years.

Smart Utilities the Largest Revenue Stream, Environmental Solutions to Witness the Biggest Growth

The Statista survey revealed that smart utilities generate the highest share of startup revenues in the smart city market. In 2021, these startups are expected to make $10.7bn or one-third of total revenues.

Smart utilities are companies in the electric, gas and water sectors that employ connected sensors across their grids to analyze operations and deliver services more efficiently. Most of them are heavy users of the IoT technology and the latest communications, software, computing, and mapping solutions. By 2025, the entire segment will grow by 180% and hit a $30bn value.

As the second-largest revenue stream, the mobility segment is set to reach a $9.4bn value this year. Statista predicts this figure to jump by nearly 190% to $27.2bn in the next four years.

Smart buildings are expected to witness a 172% revenue growth in this period, with the figure rising from $7.2bn in 2021 to $19.2bn in 2025.

However, startups delivering environmental solutions for smart cities are set to witness the most significant growth in the following years. Between 2021 and 2025, their revenues are expected to surge by 210% and hit $16.4bn globally.

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Uber Raises Tfare By 13 Percent In Lagos

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The economy option for ride-share giant company, Uber, popularly referred to as UberX, has been increased by 13 percent in Lagos State.

An electronic mail message from the ride-hailing firm to its drivers stated that the increment would start from May 11, 2021.

Uber said the increase was to ensure a reliable earning opportunity for driver-partners.

“At Uber, we remain committed to providing a reliable earning opportunity for driver-partners, as well as a reliable and affordable service for riders. With this in mind, starting 11th May 2021, we are increasing prices on UberX by about 13 percent,” the message read.

Earlier, Uber and Bolt drivers under the aegis of Professional E-hailing Drivers and Partners Association, declared a strike in April in Lagos, seeking an upward review of e-cab fares to reflect the current economic

They also wanted both companies to reduce the commission charged on rides from 25 percent to 10 percent.

National President of PEDPA, Mr. Idris Shonuga, had at a news conference in Lagos, said, “Instead of fixing a new and reasonable fare in line with inflation, the companies have recklessly continued to maintain the low fare, thereby, impoverishing hard-working young Nigerians who are diligently and lawfully trying to make a decent living.”

The e-cab operators also demanded adequate welfare package for drivers and compensation to the families of those that lost their lives or are permanently disabled in the line of duty.

The association said that more than 15 drivers had lost their lives, while some had been permanently disabled in accidents in the course of the service.

It also said more than 20 others have also lost their lives through kidnapping or killed by ritualists without any compensation from the operators.

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CEOs of Major Tech Companies Have Sold Over $6 Billion of Their Stocks in 2021

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Stocks - Investors King

Data acquired and calculated by Finbold indicates that CEOs of the five selected major tech firms have sold $6.36 billion worth of shares between January 1 and May 10, 2021.

Jeff Bezos leads, having offloaded AMZN shares worth $4.9 billion. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has sold $1.2 billion of his stock. Cumulatively, the two executives have offloaded $6.1 billion worth of shares from their respective companies.

Elsewhere, Nvidia CEO Huang Jen Hsun has sold $77.28 million worth of shares to rank third. Microsoft chief executive Nadella Satya has offloaded $65.44 million of MSFT stock, while Alphabet’s Pichai Sundar has sold $33.05 million. Among the top tech companies, only Tesla and Apple CEOs have not sold any of their stock in 2021.

Insider selling follows a surge in tech stocks

The highlighted companies have recorded a spike in the stock value over the past year, and the research report notes that:

“The sales come in the wake of tech sector stocks surging to new highs amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the pandemic, with wide-scale lockdowns, the companies run by the CEOs played a key role by offering services and products to help people manage the effects of the health crisis. The attention on these services drives the stock prices to record levels.”

Although insider trading is increasing in popularity, the activity is an essential indicator for investors to predict future price movement.

Overall, insider trades offer the overall market and investor outlook. When a single executive increases selling activity but others hold their shares, it does not call for alarm among investors.

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