By Chris Mbunwe
To enable government institutions to drive operational efficiency in the delivery of public services, they are obliged to embrace digitisation and digital solutions tailored to facilitate the discharge of their specific functions.
Due to constant advances in technology today, the exponential rush to adopt e-work services, has witnessed a corresponding upsurge in cyber-attacks with cybercriminals finding loopholes and devising strategies.
It is in this regard, that the National Agency For Information and Communication Technologies, known by its French acronym ANTIC, organised a three-day capacity building seminar for Northwest Regional and Divisional Delegates, on cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime , embracing best practices from June 22-24, in Bamenda.
The seminar brought together Delegates and Heads of Public Agencies under one roof.
Representing his ANTIC Boss, the Branch Manager, Mr Landry Ngwang Yufenyuy, said one of ANTICs role is promoting the safe use of Information and Communication Technology and securing national cyberspace.
“Government’s priority is to empower state personnel with digital skills needed to harness effectively the transformational potential of ICTs for the benefit of their communities.” Landry Ngwang.
Based on the information gathered during the outreach campaign, it was observed that most delegates lacked basic knowledge on cybersecurity while some of them were even victims of cybercrime wherein cybercriminals had stolen their personal information and used them to commit crimes. Within the framework of its mission of securing the national cyberspace, Ngwang said ANTIC has carried out several activities aimed at combating personal data and privacy related cybercrimes to include; vulnerability scans and security audit missions, through which approximately 8,000 vulnerabilities inherent in the information systems of audited organisations have been identified and recommendations formulated to correct them before they get exploited by cybercriminals.”
According to ANTIC, they have identified 4,242 fake Facebook accounts since 2019 (used by unscrupulous individuals to scam uninformed citizens), of which 3,337 have been closed, thanks to the assistance of Facebook.
Thirty-nine Facebook accounts/pages, the institution said, belong to Ministries and Members of government and have been verified with the assistance of ANTIC, in a bid to enable citizens to distinguish between fake and authentic accounts. To them, more than 2,050 complaints relating to scamming and phishing have been received and treated since 2019 at the level of ANTIC.
Some common cyber threats faced by the society and other ICT users notably are; Phishing, tricking victims to give passwords, Identify theft, when someone uses your personal information pretending to you to financially fraud others, data breach, accessing private information without authorisation, ransom ware, criminals holding data hostage in exchange for money, lastly, fake news .