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MainOne alerts online traders to hackers’ activities

The Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, Funke Opeke, has warned e-commerce site operators against the increasing incidence of cybercrime in the country and its potential danger to their businesses.

Opeke observed that increase in the rate of cybercrime could be traced to pervasive use of Information and Communication Technology, unimaginable explosion of data, connections, transactions and communication linking multitudes and servers, among other factors.

She said that a lot of damage was inflicted by hackers on financial and online trading platforms with attractive portfolio of intellectual property or other valuable information assets through theft of competitive data, identity, credit card, trade secrets as well as financial espionage and fraud.

Opeke spoke during the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry ICT and Telecoms group seminar on the issues and activities of hackers.

The MainOne CEO said that cybercriminals employed various tactics like vulnerability probing, where they looked for possible entry points in a site’s operation and business login as well as password guessing and promotional abuse. “This involve looking for flaws in sales and rebate programmes, making purchases with stolen credit cards to confirm active sites and cloning of legitimate sites to capture customer Identity and other personal details,” she said.

She added that due to the extensive damage that could be inflicted on a site by hackers, the owners could suffer brand and reputation damage, loss of revenue, loss of market share and reduced patronage including incurring cost on forensic investigation, information verification for data, integrity and backup restoration.

She tasked operators with the best security protection to go beyond the basics of anti-virus and firewall protection and get intrusion-detection systems and software that pinpoint the vulnerabilities of their systems and recommend fixes.

Opeke advised site owners to “develop your company’s security policy and guidelines by making security a companywide effort.”

She said, “Also, don’t let your employees get away with leaking sensitive information. Ensure network users are aware of the pitfalls of security and the necessary security practices to minimise these risks.

“Perform attack and penetration tests aimed at identifying vulnerable points in the network that can be easily accessed from both external and internal users. Invest in your security personnel by providing latest updated tools, training, resources and some authority to make decisions.”

She added, “Report computer breaches, and don’t cave in to extortion threats. If you are victimised, authorities should be notified, as embarrassing as it may be to you. Educate young people on computer morals and ethics. Experts strongly believe that today’s young people need more guidance from parents and teachers on what’s right and wrong on the Internet.”

October 29, 2014