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CIOs in Nigeria Worry Over Incessant Data Breach

Ola Williams, Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria

For Nigerian CIOs, the consequences of a possible security breach is their number one concern as they look to navigate an increasingly complex threat and regulatory landscape.

This is according to the Enterprise Security Trends in Nigeria survey, conducted by the IDC and commissioned by Microsoft, which highlights the latest cloud security developments in Nigeria.

Spend on security solutions among companies is growing along with cloud adoption services. According to the IDC, 72 percent of organizations in Nigeria have increased security budgets by 10 percent or more over the last few years. This is not only the result of accelerated cloud adoption levels, but also increased awareness of security in senior management and rising new threats.

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The research reveals that the pace of enterprise-wide cloud adoption is rapidly increasing as business leaders look to ensure flexibility, agility and business continuity throughout their daily operations.

Almost half of organizations (41 percent) said they will be using a combination of on premises and cloud solutions in just two years’ time. Already, six percent of organizations prefer to use the cloud; and this number is expected to grow to eight percent over the next two years. This increased adoption speaks to the confidence companies have in cloud solutions as they prepare to navigate a post COVID-19 world.

An ever-changing threat landscape

Bad actors, however, have noticed that more data is being processed in the cloud and there’s been a noticeable increase in cyberattacks. In fact, the FBI ranked Nigeria 16th among the countries most affected by cybercrimes in 2020. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic forced more people to learn, work, shop, bank and connect online than ever before.

More devices, networks and connection points have resulted in the expansion of the threat surface, bringing the need for a robust security strategy to the fore.

Security remains a major focus for Nigerian organizations with around 61 percent of companies prioritizing endpoint security solutions as endpoints increasingly move beyond the enterprise core.

Another 41 percent are implementing VPNs and virtual desktop infrastructure to secure remote workers. In line with the growing threat of phishing and ransomware, half of organizations are deploying identity and access management (IAM) solutions.

Companies also face pressure from government regulators to ensure company, employee and customer data remains protected.

The Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was brought into effect in October 2019 to regulate who can access and control personal data and help combat the growing threat of cybercrime. Despite this, just 12 percent of organizations feel they are fully compliant with Nigeria’s data protection regulations.

“There’s no doubt the risk landscape has become more complex, and while cybersecurity solutions have matured a great deal, threat actors are not idling. As organizations continue to pursue their digital transformation journey, security must be considered every step of the way to ensure a safer digital environment for all,” says Ola Williams, Country Manager for Microsoft Nigeria.

To find out more about cloud security trends in Nigeria, read the Cybersecurity: A Digital Transformation Imperative White Paper by the IDC and commissioned by Microsoft.

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