The internet has become an invaluable tool for governments, businesses, military, associations and individuals.
Cyberspace is constantly evolving, so too is the threat of cyber crime on national security,prosperity and quality of life of the citizenry and the world as a global village. Just like governments of all sovereign nations, the government of Nigeria is committed to protecting Nigerians from the threat of cyber crime.
Cybercrime is generally defined as a criminal offence involving a computer as the object of the crime(hacking, phishing, spamming), or as the tool used to commit a material component of the offence (child pornography, hate crimes, computer fraud). Criminals can also use computers for communication and
The internet’s rapid diffusion and digitations of economic activities have led to the emergence of newbreed of criminals. In recent years, economic, political and social impacts of these cyber criminals’activities have received considerable attention. Individuals, businesses and government rightfully worry about their systems, network and IT infrastructure.
Considering the pattern of cybercrime, it is apparent that many underlying assumptions are flawed,unrealistic and implausible to explain with this novel form of criminality. The empirical record regardingcybercrime patterns and strategy to avoid and fight the crimes run counter to the functioning of thecyber world.
There are various ways to gain access to information in cyberspace. Attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in software and hardware.
They can exploit security vulnerabilities by tricking people into opening infected emails or visiting corrupt websites that infect their computers with malicious software.
They can take advantage of people who fail to follow basic cyber security practices, such as changing their passwords frequently, updating their antivirus protection on a regular basis, and using only protected wireless networks. At the turn of the 21st century, Nigerian internet penetration levels took a running jump.
Whereas the number used to be less than 5% in 2002 – 2003, it stood at over 40% by the end of 2015.
CYBER CRIME AND GLOBAL ECONOMIC GROWTH
Cyber crime and espionage cost the global economy upwards of 500bn annually and are the main contributors for dragging down economic growth across the world.
A study by the security firm McAfee and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIC) also revealed that the US, the world’s largest economy loses about $100bn (€76bn, £65bn) from cyber crimesand espionage, including loss of key business data and intellectual property. In the US, the malicious activities are also resulting in the loss of as many as 500,000 jobs in connection with the loss of intellectual property and sensitive business information.
The issue of cybercrime and its antagonistic impact on the Africa economy is alarming and has increasingly become disheartening.
To this extent, Africa leaders must become proactive and focused
in the continuous fight to cub the menace and mitigate its effect on the citizenry. For africa to serve as a fertile ground for economic breakthrough, it must be built in a crime free society.
But an ideal economy is virtually impossible. As technology upsurges, so also is cyber-crime rate on the rise. Cyber criminals will always keep at pace with any technological advancement. It is true that technology gives rise to cyber-crime, we could live with it or we can do something momentous about it.