As part of the Digital Access Programme, the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser, National Information Technology Development Agency, KPMG and CyberSafe Foundation will launch a Cybersecurity Toolkit for Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria on April 5, 2022.
SMEs in the country are set to benefit from an initiative of the UK FCDO’s Digital Access Programme, aimed at catalyzing more inclusive, affordable, safe, and secure digital access for excluded and underserved communities in Nigeria. The toolkit is aimed at helping SMEs protect their businesses by increasing their awareness of cyber threats and to provide them with the knowledge they need to guard against cybersecurity risks.
The event will feature the presentation of toolkit to SMEs, sessions that will aim to provide the SMEs with an awareness of cyber risks and provide guidance to support them in taking steps towards becoming more cyber resilient.
Explaining the need for the project, the organizers in a joint statement noted that “Research has shown that SMEs contribute significantly to the National GDP and account for most of the businesses and employment in Nigeria. The cyber threats faced by SMEs are even more pervasive when disaggregated by gender. Therefore, protecting SMEs from cyber harm is crucial for inclusive growth and poverty alleviation.”
However, according to Interpol’s African Cyber Threat Assessment Report published in October 2021, “90% of African businesses are operating without the necessary cybersecurity protocols in place. Without these protocols, threat actors are able to exploit increasing vulnerabilities as they continue to invent new cyberattack vectors”.
The statement further noted that in the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the cybercrime ecosystem with a persisting digital divide and increasing cybersecurity vulnerabilities. With cybercrime increasing at rapid rates, it has never been more important to understand how to protect businesses, learn from cyber experts about current risks, and what entrepreneurs can do to start preparing their businesses today.
Key stakeholders at the launch will include ONSA, NITDA, SMEDAN, other agencies of the Nigerian Government, the International Development Community, SMEs associations, and key private sector leaders and the tech and business communities.