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Comercio, HISPI To Train 1000 Cybersecurity Experts In Nigeria

Comercio Limited, an ICT solutions company that provides first class solutions tailored around Computer Hardware, Cloud Computing and Cyber Security solutions shares a vision with the Holistic Information Security Practitioner (HISP) Institute (HISPI), an independent training, education and certification 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization promoting a holistic approach to Cybersecurity.

HISPI consists of volunteers that are true information security practitioners, such as Chief Information Officers, Chief Risk Officers, Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), Information Security Officers (ISOs), Information Security Managers, Directors of Information Security, Security Analysts, Security Engineers and Technology Risk Managers from major corporations and organizations.

Nigeria Cybersecurity Report (2018) shows that even with 17% increase in organisational spend in cybersecurity from 2017 to 2018, the cost of cybercrimes in the country reached whopping sum of $800 million.

The report which was released by Data & Scientific Inc with supports from Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) and Gemalto, also indicates a serious skills shortage with just 3,500 cybersecurity (skilled) professionals in Nigeria.

Now, Comercio and eFortresses CloudeAssurance are out to tackle this problem with a focus on grooming young people with relevant skills in cloud computing, financial, telecoms security challenges, amongst others.

In addition, the partners are planning to create cybersecurity awareness where more than 50,000 people will be engaged on the basic cybersecurity tips.

Speaking to  TechEconomy.ng the Group Managing Director, Comercio Limited, Mrs Aderonke Adeyegbe says, “We are very excited about this relationship and partnership which started in May last year in Atlanta USA, which has culminated in organization of different forums such as webinars and Conferences to educate and engage our Clients on Cyber Security solutions.

“Our highly successful and well attended Conference on 4th October, 2019 in Lagos is a testament of our resolve to continue to render best in class Cyber Security Training with a world class recognized brand and proud to say home grown solution with International standards. We have kick started our roadmap for this year, 2020 with Awareness Creation for Cyber Security and Training programs that is sure to educate and prepare both young and experienced professionals with the requires skills set to close the gap on skills shortage both globally and locally and prepare them for Certifications.

Mrs. Adeyegbe added that these are indeed interesting times for both Comercio Limited and HISPI.

“Our goal for Year 2020 is to create Cyber Security awareness for over a 50,000 people and Training for over 1,000 people, while deploying Cyber Security solutions this year for both public and private sectors, not only in Nigeria but across the Pan African region”.

In a Skype interview with TechEconomy.ng, a global cybersecurity expert Mr. Taiye Lambo who doubles as the Founder & CTO of eFortresses, CloudeAssurance and Holistic Information Security Practitioner Institute (HISPI), noted that the world is losing a lot of money to cybercrime hence Nigeria must prepare her citizens to be battle ready for the ‘cyber-war’ ahead.

Founder of HISPI, Taiye Lambo – Photo Credit: Comercio Ltd

In the words of Mr. Lambo who was the former CISO of the City of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, “Report indicates that in Africa, businesses lose estimated US$3.5 billion to cybercrime with Nigeria having the highest losses at US$649 million, followed by Kenya with US$210 million and Tanzania with US$99 million. This is mindboggling. We all know the reputational issue Nigeria has as a country.

“This started in the ‘80s. I have always said then Nigerian oil and biometrics are the most sought-after resources in the world. So, we have always been hit by brain drain and I don’t think our educational system is prepared with solutions to stop brain drain. With the brain drain and bad image, we have as a country, how do we turn things around and benefit from the digital economy?

“So, we can actually become part of the solutions. The opportunity is there; the market is big enough for everybody. Also, there is noticeable shortage of experts across the world. If you look at the global losses to cybercrime, they are more than the entire GDP of the entire African Continent. It is possible to turn the criminals in cyber space to become ethical cyber experts. They can become part of the solutions as Cyberists – those who want to become the solution by being exceptional.

Country like Israel has shown the example. They are problem-solvers. “The entire world is ripe for finding, solutions to global problems. We can have that mindset of problem-solving, but it has to be a national strategy. I think it starts with awareness creation.

“What that does is it allows people to see that this problem is not unique to us. We don’t pray it happens, but should someone hack the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the hack affects company stocks, the economy suffers it.

“It will have impact on the common man on the street; although he may not have shares listed on the Stock Exchange.

HISPI logo

At some point, whether through inflation, scarcity of funds, scarcity of petrol; it may take time, but definitely it will affect everybody. So, I think raising that awareness to 50,000 people does not even scratch the surface, but it is probably a starting point. The goal is to target 50,000 professionals across economic sectors in Nigeria; expose them to threats in cyber space.

“The next goal is to train 1,000 foot soldiers. According to different studies, we probably have less than 5,000 certified cybersecurity professionals in Nigeria. For a country of almost 200 million people, it is a far-cry. So, we are looking to scratch the surface so that we can have experts to safeguard the nation’s cyber space”, he concluded.

Meanwhile, the Holistic Information Security Practitioner (HISP) certification course was launched by eFortresses, Inc in March 2005.

Since the launch of this unique certification course there has been a growing need to establish an independent certification organization to manage the certification aspect of the HISP, so as to foster industry acceptance through vendor neutrality.

The HISP Institute was not established until January 2007, but the founding members of the HISP Institute have been providing oversight to the HISP certification program since May 2005, meeting regularly via conference calls to provide guidance on how to take the HISP certification to the next level, in an advisory capacity to eFortresses, Inc.

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Written by PH

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