It is an undisputable fact that no matter where one lives around the globe, people are immensely harnessing the benefits of fast internet in real time. Also, the threat of cybercrime to businesses around the globe is rising fast.
It’s like the two sides to a coin; the advent of cheaper internet is also accompanied by new threats and risks.
Take it or not, evidence suggests that cyberspace is today the biggest breeding ground for jihadis and other terrorist movements that prey on unsuspecting people who are recruited, brainwashed and radicalised.
Therefore, the high level meeting of regional intelligence chiefs in Banjul, is not only timely, but a move in the right direction.
Interestingly, as we put up mechanisms to stave off e-criminals, these gangs of organised-criminals are also increasingly their actions or support by investing in ramping up their digital frontiers.
What is in fact more worrying is that young people in particular and other vulnerable people in society especially, are the primary targets for recruitment and radicalisation with all its severe consequences on national, regional and global peace.
As rightly stated by Minister Sillah at the opening ceremony, as the cyberspace is getting more and more complex, national security services in West Africa need stronger collaboration with critical stakeholders to enlighten people at home and at work to understand the basic cyber security rules.
More importantly, the security agencies, he said, should also apply enhanced rules to help governments expand their war on cybercrimes.
The challenge we face is that the same qualities can and are being abused by individuals and groups to do us harm. Remember that the cyberspace is flexible, available and it is easy to use put such powers and knowledge in the hands of so many people around the world, hence making it difficult to effectively police, monitor and control.
Let us rally efforts to curtail the massive lost countries continue to suffer in the hands of cybercriminals.
“Cyber attacks rain down on us from many places. You have to make your systems secure and safe and teach your people cyber hygiene.”