Majority of e-business platforms in Nigeria have security flaws – Survey

12/24/2013 by Ben Uzor Jr, BDay

A new survey by Akintola Williams Deloitte has revealed that majority of e-business platforms springing up across the country have security flaws. With the benefit e-business platforms offer comes huge security concerns from the perspective of the integrity of transactional information and confidentiality of personally identifiable information. According to the survey, if these new business platforms are not effectively designed, these vulnerabilities can lead to major security breaches. The use of e-business platforms as a tool for commerce has revolutionised business and life in Nigeria.

With the cashless policy initiative introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), there has been an astronomical growth in these e-business platforms. As a result of the rapid adoption of e-businesses across various industries and institutions, the survey shows that there are also growing concerns about the security of these new platforms. The Security, Privacy & Resiliency team of Akintola Williams Deloitte conducted a security survey between April and June 2013 of the ebusiness platforms of over 120 organisations in Nigeria. The organisations covered in the survey included industries from banking and financial institutions to IT/telecommunication companies, airlines, payment processors and online retail markets.

The report from this survey was presented at the 2013 Chief Information Security Officers’ roundtable event recently organised by Akintola Williams Deloitte in Lagos. In his address, Anthony Olukoju, risk advisory leader, Akintola Williams Deloitte, expressed that the purpose of the survey was to evaluate the security level of e-business platforms, technology and supporting infrastructure covered in the survey, provide a statistical representation of vulnerabilities and weaknesses in e-business platforms in Nigeria and to raise awareness about the security risks of unsecure e-business platforms and provide security tips and recommendations to improve the security of Nigeria’s cyberspace.

He said that Deloitte has the largest cyber security team in Nigeria and the ebusiness survey is a way of giving back to the society with information that can improve the security of our cyber space. Also speaking at the launch, Tope Aladenusi, partner and head, Security, Privacy and Resiliency, Akintola Williams Deloitte, stated that e-business platform owners should be aware of security challenges that their platforms are exposed to. According to him, “They should be able to answer questions such as: How safe is information that is shared on their platform? Is the underlying technology secure enough to maintain user privacy? Have users been enlightened about what to look out for before clicking on links or before providing sensitive information?” He also noted that the findings from the report, has made it necessary and urgent that the security should be on the minds of individuals and organisations that maintain these e-business platforms.

If these are left unsecured, an unauthorised user may be able to steal data such as bank account details, debit or credit card numbers, online transaction passwords and e-mail communications transmitted.