Mr. Olufemi Ake, country manager, ESET (Nigeria and Ghana), has said that competent approach among internet users in the country, particularly on information and communication technology (ICT) will help curb grwoing trend of security threats.
Ake who was responding to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek questions on IT security in the country, decried increased cases of breaches, adding that most users are more reactive to the matter.
ESET had in its 2017 report warned that common occurrence in recent times has been the emergence of malicious apps in the official iOS and Android app repositories.
The Company described the phenomenon as first seemed extremely rare but that has unfortunately become more common over time.
According to internetlivestats.com, which estimates Nigeria’s population at 186,987,563, there are 86,219,965 internet users in the country as at 2016 at the penetration rate of 46.1 %.
This trend has even affected the Apple App Store, which theoretically has more controls than the Google Play Store for Android, Denise Giusto Bilić, ESET Security Researcher, said in a 2017 IT security trends report released by the company recently.
Bilić identified that as for publishing applications, numerous factors encourage the existence of malicious apps in Google’s app store.
According to her, not only is Android a favorite target for cybercriminals because it has the largest number of potential victims, but the speed at which apps are published on the Play Store also makes it a potential target for many attackers trying to propagate their threats.
She said, “With Android, any developer can create an account with a one-off payment of USD 25, upload an application, and have it published within 24 hours. In contrast, the cost of iOS development membership is more than USD 99 per year and the app approval waiting period can last weeks.
“One of the several strategies Google might use to reduce the number of candidate applications could be raising the price for developers' accounts.
In his reaction, Ake told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, “On IT Security Education, it is more reactive than proactive. The majority of users are only aware of the need to secure their devices after a breach. Very few in this climate place IT security as top priority, including business decision-makers.
“ESET often advise device owners, businesses owners across major sectors to be proactive with first-level IT security measures as it saves a fortune to be safe than sorry. IT Security breaches cost organisations a lot more such as data loss, productive downtime, huge financial loss, government fines, customer lawsuits, brand smearing etc.
“In addition, ESET Mobile Security app is available on app stores with features that constantly scans, cleans or quarantine malicious apps on user devices. It is highly recommended these days as most organisations rely on mobile devices to carry out day to day businesses.
“On apps, I don't think organisations have more than one 'same' app with different versions as the apps are updated version-wise without being duplicated on the play store or other app markets”.
He however said that the only risk would be that an app may be cloned with malicious content which may eventually pose threat to user device & data when/ if downloaded.