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Cybersecurity Experts and Industry Leaders Promote AI Adoption in Digital Defense

In an effort to combat the rising tide of cybercrime, a gathering of cybersecurity experts and industry leaders convened at the FITC 2023 Cybersecurity Conference to advocate for the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology as a crucial step in bolstering digital defenses against cyber threats.

During the conference held in Lagos, Kelly Orjiude, the Cybersecurity Manager at Ernst and Young Global Limited, highlighted Nigeria’s vulnerability by citing the staggering number of 12.9 million cyber-attacks that occurred during the previous presidential election. To address this pressing issue, Orjiude strongly advocated for the incorporation of AI-driven technologies. He explained that these advanced systems could effectively analyze vast amounts of data in real-time, enabling the detection of complex cyber threats while automating incident responses to swiftly mitigate potential damage.

However, Orjiude also sounded a note of caution about the responsible use of AI technology. While it undoubtedly strengthens cybersecurity defenses, there remains a risk of its misuse for malicious purposes, as evidenced by instances of AI-driven fraud and misinformation. He stressed the importance of adhering to ethical and responsible AI practices to ensure that this technology is harnessed for the greater good. Orjiude emphasized, “In our pursuit of technological advancement, ethical considerations must guide us. AI is a powerful tool; how we use it determines its impact on society. Responsible AI integration is not just a choice; it’s our moral obligation.”

Premier Oiwoh, the Managing Director of Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems (NIBSS), underscored the urgency of bolstering Africa’s economic growth amid cybersecurity challenges. He emphasized the interconnected nature of digital transactions and critical infrastructure, stating, “There is a need for capacity building, public-private partnerships, and international cooperation.” Oiwoh pointed out that these collaborative efforts were crucial for developing homegrown solutions tailored to Africa’s unique needs, ultimately enhancing the region’s capacity to effectively respond to cybersecurity threats.

Taiye Lambo, the Founder of the Holistic Information Security Practitioner Institute, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the transformative potential of AI in reshaping Nigeria’s global image.

Chizor Malize, the Chief Executive Officer of FITC, emphasized the vulnerability of Africa to cyber threats due to various factors, including the lack of robust cybersecurity infrastructure, inadequate awareness and education, and the rapid pace of digital adoption without commensurate security measures. She called for a proactive approach to address these challenges and enhance cybersecurity across the continent.

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