- 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.