UK FCDO, KPMG, ONSA and NITDA to launch cybersecurity toolkit for SMEs.

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As part of the Digital Access Programme (DAP), the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), KPMG and CyberSafe Foundation will launch a Cybersecurity Toolkit for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria on Tuesday, 5 April 2022.

SMEs in the country are set to benefit from an initiative of the UK FCDO’s Digital Access Programme, aimed at catalyzing more inclusive, affordable, safe, and secure digital access for excluded and underserved communities in Nigeria. The toolkit is aimed at helping SMEs protect their businesses by increasing their awareness of cyber threats and to provide them with the knowledge they need to guard against cybersecurity risks. The event will feature the presentation of toolkit to SMEs, sessions that will aim to provide the SMEs with an awareness of cyber risks and provide guidance to support them in taking steps towards becoming more cyber resilient.

Explaining the need for the project, the organizers in a joint statement noted that “Research has shown that SMEs contribute significantly to the National GDP and account for most of the businesses and employment in Nigeria. The cyber threats faced by SMEs are even more pervasive when dis-aggregated by gender. Therefore, protecting SMEs from cyber harm is crucial for inclusive growth and poverty alleviation.” However, according to Interpol’s African Cyber Threat Assessment Report published in October 2021, “90% of African businesses are operating without the necessary cybersecurity protocols in place.  Without these protocols, threat actors are able to exploit increasing vulnerabilities as they continue to invent new cyberattack vectors”.

The statement further noted that in the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the cybercrime ecosystem with a persisting digital divide and increasing cybersecurity vulnerabilities. With cybercrime increasing at rapid rates, it has never been more important to understand how to protect businesses, learning from cyber experts about current risks and what entrepreneurs can do to start preparing their businesses today.

Key stakeholders at the launch will include the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), other agencies of the Nigerian Government, International Development Community, SMEs associations, and key private sector leaders and the tech and business communities.

It will be recalled that in February 2022, a pilot rollout of the toolkit was launched to about 40 female-led SMEs across key sectors of the economy in Nigeria to test its workability. After the official launch on April 5 2022, the toolkit will then become available to over 100 million SMEs across Nigeria.

About the UK FCDO Digital Access Programme (DAP)

The DAP is UK’s cross-government partnership catalyzing digital development in five countries (Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, and Indonesia). It is a flagship intervention that integrates digital inclusion, responsibility and transformation elements across its three pillars.

Pillar 1: Connectivity models, digital skills, content and services for underserved communities

Pillar 2: Cybersecurity capacity building

Pillar 3: Local digital ecosystems, tech entrepreneurship.

About KPMG

KPMG is a professional services firm with deep expertise in the provision of Audit, Tax and Advisory services to clients in various industries and sectors of the economy including the public sector. KPMG is well represented across the African continent. Our objectives are to provide quality services to multinational, regional, and local clients and to enhance the product offering in certain previously under-serviced markets.

About Cybersafe Foundation

Cybersafe Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organisation on a mission to facilitate pockets of changes that ensure a safer internet for everyone with digital access in Africa. Through our flagship initiative #NoGoFallMaga, we have in recent past launched cybersecurity awareness campaigns reaching over 20,000,000 people, organized cybersecurity awareness training for over 4000 SMEs, educating over 9000 employees of these organisations, launched Africa’s first storified cybersecurity awareness handbook and possibly Africa’s first afrobeat cybersecurity awareness song. These and many more of our contributions to fighting cybercrime has earned us recognition around Africa including invitations to high profile events.

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