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You must safeguard customer data, prevent unauthorized access – NCC boss Danbatta to Network operators


You must safeguard customer data, prevent unauthorized access – NCC boss Danbatta to Network operators

Chief Executive Officer, CEO, and Executive Vice Chairman, EVC of the Nigerian Commissions Commission, NCC, has said that the commission has a crucial role to play in combating electronic fraud in the telecom sector and in Nigeria’s economy.

The EVC said this while presenting a keynote address titled ‘Combating E-Fraud on Telecom Platforms and Building Consumer Confidence in the Digital Economy’ at the 2nd Quarter 2023 Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) in Lagos.

According to him, as a regulator, the commission must establish comprehensive legal frameworks for the protection of telecoms.

He noted that these legal frameworks must focus on data protection, privacy and incident response, ensuring that operators are held accountable for any lapses in security on their respective networks.

He stressed that the commission will collaborate with Mobile Network Operators to ensure the safety of their networks and conduct regular audits and assessments to verify compliance and encourage a culture of cybersecurity within the industry.

“The NCC as the regulator of the communications sector, has a crucial role to play in combating e-fraud,” he said.

He disclosed that part of the efforts of the NCC in combating e-fraud include type-approving communications equipment to ensure that they conform to global standards and are interoperable with various relevant technologies.

“In accordance with the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, telecom operators have a responsibility to ensure the security and integrity of their networks and to prevent it from being used in, or in relation to, the commission of any offense under any law in operation in Nigeria,” he added.

Meanwhile, speaking to journalists on the sideline, Prof Danbatta, admitted that with the increasing uptake of digital financial services and the advent of disruptive technologies, the issue of cybersecurity has become increasingly important.

He advised telecom operators to invest in robust infrastructure, employ state-of-the-art security measures, and conduct regular audits to identify and address vulnerabilities promptly.

“Operators should implement stringent authentication protocols, two-factor authentication and encryption mechanisms to safeguard customer data and prevent unauthorized access,” he advised.

Answering questions from Journalists on the concern about how personal data is collected, stored, shared and exploited, the former University lecturer stated that fortunately, NDEPS 2020-2030 adequately addresses the protection of telecom consumers against the threats of cybercrime, encouraging them to embrace digital finance and supporting them to contribute to the Digital Economy.

“Pillar #6 of the NDEPS, which deals with soft infrastructure, has proven to be proactive. The soft infrastructure pillar focuses on strengthening public confidence in using digital technologies and participation in the Digital Economy. The pillar will address the importance of cybersecurity and other standards, frameworks, and guidelines that encourage citizens to embrace a digital culture.

Data privacy and the deployment of technologies like the public key infrastructure are addressed in this pillar,” he explained.

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