Nigerian CIOs worried over rising digital threats, data breaches

72% of Nigerian organisations raise security budgets
• Only 12 % of organisations are fully compliant with NDPR

For Nigerian Chief Information Officers (CIOs), the consequences of a possible security breach are their number one concern as they look to navigate an increasingly-complex threat and regulatory landscape.

This is disclosed by the Enterprise Security Trends in Nigeria survey, conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) and commissioned by Microsoft. It highlighted the latest cloud security developments in Nigeria.

Spending on security solutions among companies is growing alongside cloud adoption services. According to the IDC, 72 per cent of organisations in Nigeria have increased security budgets by 10 per cent or more over the last few years. This is not only the result of accelerated cloud adoption levels but also increased awareness of security among senior management executives and rising new threats.

The research revealed that the pace of enterprise-wide cloud adoption is rapidly increasing as business leaders look to ensure flexibility, agility and business continuity throughout their daily operations.

Almost half of organisations (41 per cent) said they would be using a combination of on-premises and cloud solutions in just two years. Already, six per cent of organisations prefer to use the cloud. This number is expected to grow to eight per cent in the next two years.

This increased adoption speaks to the confidence companies have in cloud solutions as they prepare to navigate a post-COVID-19 world.

The research revealed an ever-changing threat landscape, stressing that bad actors, however, have noticed that more data is being processed in the cloud and there’s been a noticeable increase in cyberattacks.

The FBI ranked Nigeria 16th among the countries most affected by cybercrimes in 2020. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic forced more people to learn, work, shop, bank and connect online than ever before.
More devices, networks and connection points have resulted in the expansion of the threat surface, bringing the need for a robust security strategy to the fore.

The research explained that security remains a major focus for Nigerian organisations with around 61 per cent of companies prioritizing endpoint security solutions as endpoints increasingly move beyond the enterprise core. Another 41 per cent are implementing VPNs and virtual desktop infrastructure to secure remote workers.

In line with the growing threat of phishing and ransomware, the report noted that half of organizations are deploying identity and access management (IAM) solutions.

According to it, companies also face pressure from government regulators to ensure company, employee and customer data remains protected.

Recall that the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was brought into effect in October 2019 to regulate who can access and control personal data and help combat the growing threat of cybercrime. Despite this, just 12 per cent of organisations feel they are fully compliant with Nigeria’s data protection regulations.

Country Manager for Microsoft Nigeria, Ola Williams, said: “There’s no doubt the risk landscape has become more complex, and while cybersecurity solutions have matured a great deal, threat actors are not idling. As organisations continue to pursue their digital transformation journey, security must be considered every step of the way to ensure a safer digital environment for all.”