The global threat to cybersecurity is one that can no longer be ignored. It has been estimated that in Nigeria: Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) lose over N127 billion annually to cybercrime, which amounts to 0.08 per cent of the country’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In response to this threat and the need to train homegrown talents to rise up to meet these challenges, Esentry Systems Limited, a leading cybersecurity firm, has partnered with the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) to launch the first of its kind cybersecurity lab in Nigeria. The cybersecurity lab commissioned on the 26th of October 2018 is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies to make it possible for students and faculty members to have hands-on experience in information security. The cybersecurity lab would also provide a platform for researchers to conduct research on inherent cyber security problems and proffer innovative solutions as well.
Speaking on the significance of the lab, Funmipe Olofinade, the Head, Security Operations and Intelligence, Esentry Systems Limited and Researcher at FUTA mentioned that; with the establishment of the lab, professionals that are fully aware of the cybersecurity threats and equipped with the expertise to mitigate and combat them can be groomed. He further said, students would have the option to stay in the country to earn a qualitative degree in cyber security thanks to the lab.
Among the eminent personalities who graced the event was Professor B.K. Alese, a Professor of Information Security, Department of Cybersecurity Science, FUTA who said the lab will allow academics to know the demand of the industry and be able to tune their research towards industrial and societal needs. The HOD, FUTA’s Cybersecurity Science Department, Dr (Mrs) Aderonke Thompson, expressed her confidence in how the lab would provide a lot of hands-on experience for students, making it possible for experts from the industry to be able to relate with researchers in cybersecurity science thereby fostering state of the art techniques at conducting research that can meet up with the demands of the Nation at large. The Vice-Chancellor of the Institution, who officially opened the lab, made it known that the laboratory will provide a platform for cutting-edge research in cybersecurity. It will also provide an opportunity for FUTA students to have their industrial work experience and provide a platform for them to be able to relate and do great things.
The initiative of the lab is in line with Esentry’s effort to bridge the gap between the industry and academia in developing solutions for the information security industry. The organization hopes to extend this initiative to other institutions from the private and public sector.