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2023 General elections: Nigeria countered over 1.2m attempted Cyber Attacks – GBB

Nigeria’s Information Technology and Shared Services provider, Galaxy Backbone Limited has disclosed that it countered over 1.2 million attempted cyber attacks during the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone, Professor Muhammed Bello Abubakar disclosed this during a Ministerial Training for its Board members and Management Staff in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The theme of the event was “positioning the Agency’s Team for Effective Management and Leadership in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

Professor Abubakar while highlighting the agency’s achievements said the Agency set a business community and Cyberspace protection committee to ensure Nigeria’s cyberspace is secured during the 2023 general election.

“Because of the elections we came up with a business community and Cyberspace protection that is supposed to run for one month and at least one week after the Gubernatorial elections. On election day alone, cyber attacks cost $4b and how did we get to that, We have a reference, a single cyber attack cost $18,000 as at December 2023. During the elections we countered more than 200 hundred attempted attacks And the next day it geometrically increased to about 1.2 million and all were blocked from our own end ,” he said.

The Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had inaugurated a committee to advise on appropriate measures to take in protection of the nation’s cyberspace and Information and Communication Technology, ICT, infrastructure from potential attacks especially during the general election which the CEO of Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Mohammad Abubakar was a key member.

The committee will work to coordinate computer security centres in the ICT industry in collaboration with other relevant institutions towards intercepting potential cyber attacks.

He explained that the agency has the mandate to be “the provider of shared ICT infrastructure, applications and services to all Federal Government Ministries Departments and Agencies as well as institutions and also host all Government data and deploy Transversal Applications across Government.

“To build and operate a single nation-wide IP broadband network to provide network services to all FG MDAs and institutions”.

To ensure quality service delivery and customer satisfaction via service improvement and visibility, the Galaxy Backbone Boss said “we have improved service visibility, migration to cloud services
Provisioning of Backup and Disaster Recovery Site(s)Provisioning of Contact Centre.”

Professor Abubakar assured that to further boost its capacity to ensure a secured cyberber space in Nigeria GBB, it has “to invest in Security Management by Development of new SOC, acquired New certifications (e.g. ISO 9001, 22301) and maintenance of previous certifications Establishment of Security Command Centre”

He also listed the provision of
NICTIB 2 Project, LAN intervention projects, Northeast Regional Office at Gombe, Upgrade of Southwest Regional Office and Data Centre at Lagos, Commissioning of National Shared Service Centre (Now Muhammadu Buhari Galaxy Backbone Headquarters and Commissioning of the Tier IV National Data Centre and Galaxy Northwest Regional Office at Kano.

Other achievements include stoppage of most outsourcing and improvement of service visibility, positioning of backbone and disasters, establishment of security command center, Trainings and capacity building for staff , provision of Health Insurance Promotions and Promotions and Guidelines Framework, Welfare and Housing among others

While declaring the retreat open the Nigerian Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami said the training was imperative to reposition staff performance in line with the trends in technologies.

“Training is key when it comes to improving our performance and at the same time training is key when it come to our self-evaluation, self-judgement, self-assessment. Sit down and review what we will do, discover our strengths and also our weaknesses and where to improve.The training is to help reposition Galaxy Backbone particularly with regards to management and leadership in the 4th Industrial Revolution,” he explained.

He commended the Galaxy Backbone for playing a critical and significant role in terms of making “our virtual Federal Executive Council meeting successful. “I am glad the way you have been saving money, the way you improve your performance even though it is good for us to redouble our efforts.

“The efforts and the achievements of Galaxy Backbone are highly commendable. In this training, I will be very much sincere with you to point some areas where we need significant improvement,” Professor Pantami stated.

The Minister, however, challenged the agency to improve on customer satisfaction and take their responsibilities beyond revenue generation.

“Most importantly, my major observation in regards to Galaxy Backbone is the issue of customer satisfaction. Secondly, we need to think out of the box to discover new areas for government revenue generation. We need to be proactive in our thinking. Let us not maintain the same process everyday when it comes to revenue generation. The responsibility of Galaxy Backbone is beyond revenue generation, we should think much higher than that,” he added.

Galaxy Backbone, GBB is a government-owned integrated ICT services and solutions provider established to drive digital inclusion in the Public Sector, underserved areas and other stake-holder communities.

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