Joseph Inokotong, Abuja

The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has said that banks in the country spent about N200 billion to prevent various forms of cyberattacks on their operations in 2019.

The NCS also pointed out that the two major attacks that confronted the financial sector last year were Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) and Social Engineering.

DDoS attacks are malicious attempts to disrupt normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic, while Social Engineering attacks are the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes.

NCS President Prof Adesina Sodiya said more efforts must be harnessed locally to curb the growing menace of cyberattacks in Nigeria.

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Globally, the number of DDoS attacks increased by 84 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019 compared to Q4 2018, according to research from Kaspersky Lab.

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Sodiya said multiple attacks were launched on the banks but did not disclose their identities because of the sensitive nature of bank operations, noting that the financial systems have become more proactive and sophisticated in tackling some of these challenges.

According to Sodiya, “today, individuals, governments and corporate organisations are losing huge sums of money and property as a result of cyberattacks.

“Threats on the landscape continue to change rapidly, and attacks are increasing in might and sophistication. It is also believed that this trend will continue in the nearest future. Consequently, a concerted effort is needed to enhance cybersecurity in Nigeria.”