Cyber-security: Nigeria short of professionals to fight threats – Deloitte

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By SAMSON AKINTARO

As new form of cyber threats emerges on daily basis, businesses in Nigeria may suffer more cyber-attacks this year due to shortage of cyber-security experts in the country. The Chief Strategy Officer and Cyber-security Leader at Deloitte West Africa, Mr Tope Aladenusi, who gave this insight in Deloitte’s Nigeria Cyber Outlook 2018, said it is very difficult to find a cyber-security professional with the right experience in Nigeria.

“The chances of finding a cyber-security professional in Nigeria with the right skills and experience to address a company’s cyber security needs are currently almost synonymous with installing 24/7 power supply in your home. Very few can afford it!” he said. According to Aladenusi, as technology keeps advancing, disrupting legacy businesses and changing the way business is carried out, almost every industry has been disrupted.

“In 2017, we saw increased number of new players in the Fintech space in Nigeria leaving the incumbents to struggle to keep up. In a bid to catch up, organizations are opening up their systems, partnering with third party players. All of these have led to organizations becoming more exposed than ever and they are finding it difficult to stay secured. Having the right technology is not enough to deal with these cyber challenges, the people and process aspect needs to be addressed as well” he said.

The Deloitte chief noted that Cyber-security is a highly specialized field as the the skill set is broad and technical, involving network security, platform security, application security, and industry-specific compliance amongst others. He said organizations are now looking to build their arsenal by hiring professionals with specific cyber qualifications and skills, adding that this is creating a demand for more cyber professionals than what are available, thus bringing about scarcity. He pointed out that small and medium enterprises are suffering the most as they are unable to attract and/or retain skilled cyber security professionals and they sometimes have to hire inexperienced talents.

“It is one thing to have learnt cyber security skills via classroom training or writing a certification exam but another to have the actual working experience. Many organizations that can provide actual working experiences to talents usually prefer not take on the challenge of training or hiring inexperienced cyber talents”.

He however advised that with the increasing shortage of skills and rising cost of technologies, a quick fix for organizations is to look towards outsourcing their cybersecurity functions. Continuing with the cyber outlook for Nigeria, he said: “In 2018, there will be a continuous increase in demand for cybersecurity services/functions from cybersecurity service providers.

Request for cyber security professionals would come from all sizes of businesses and the demand for cyber security talents would not just be local but global. The skills shortage and premium offers are expected to lead to migration of skills outside Nigeria, and servicing of other African and Western markets from Nigeria. Upcoming graduates and undergraduates would also continue to eye cyber security and would start acquiring the necessary skills needed to thrive in the field of cyber security.”

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