The increasing dependence on the internet by government, public and private agencies cannot be over emphasized. This development, though good, has its attendant risk of exposing information systems and critical infrastructure to attack by cybercriminal elements. This therefore brings to fore, the need for all to be on guard. It is on this premise, that the National Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT) domiciled at the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) as empowered by the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015, recently brought relevant stakeholders together under the forum for the identification of Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII).
The aim of this forum is for ONSA to collectively work with stakeholders to kick-start the process of identifying and developing an inventory of critical information infrastructure which shall subsequently be gazetted as national assets under Presidential Order.
The event which held on 24th November, 2016 at ONSA was well attended with over 40 participants from invited government ministries, parastatals and the private sector. Speaking at the forum, while delivering his keynote address, the National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd) who was the chief host of the forum stated that “the reason for the gathering which is to initiate the process of identification of Critical National Information Infrastructure, is one of the series of government effort to ensure the security of Nigerian cyberspace”. He further stated that “these efforts are not only vital for ensuring continuity and reliability of business operations, but also crucial to effective public service delivery and national security. As our critical information infrastructure continue to increasingly connect to computer networks; in the nearest future, nations would rely on these networks for essential service delivery. Thus, the protection of Nigerian Critical Information Infrastructure is a national security responsibility requiring government, public and private sector to collaborate. This is the essence of today’s Stakeholders Forum on the Identification of Critical National Information Infrastructure”, the NSA said.
At the event, the Director of Communication and Manager of ngCERT in ONSA, Engr (Dr). Shariff Lawal made a presentation on “Overview of National Cybersecurity Strategy and Protection of Critical National Information Infrastructure”. In the presentation, he spoke briefly on cyberspace background issues to include amongst others: Security, Safety and Privacy; Economic, Social & Security Impact of Cybercrimes. He also spoke on the roles of ONSA as tasked in the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015. He further spoke on the National Cybersecurity Strategy Vision and Components before dwelling extensively on Protection of critical National Information Infrastructure & the methodology to be employed by ngCERT to facilitate the asset identification process.
The expected outcome of the overall effort of the forum for the identification of Critical National Information Infrastructure is to develop comprehensive inventory of all critical information assets in Nigeria. The effort is also aimed at classifying the infrastructure based on criticality, establishing interdependency among the infrastructure, develop protection plan, guidelines and procedures for protection by owners and operators. Finally, the effort also plans to develop information sharing mechanism among stakeholders.
The forum progressed into an engaging interactive session where participants gave insights with various opinions on how to achieve the overall goal of making the Nigerian Cyberspace a safer and secure place to operate. Read the Keynote Address of the CNII identification forum by the NSA