ANTIC Runs Workshop to tackle cyber security threats

Pinpointing cyber security threats and formulating countermeasures was the reason for a workshop organised for staff of IT departments of government offices by the National Agency for Information and Communication, ANTIC.

ANTIC Director General, Prof Ebot Ebot Enow, who officially opened the two-day workshop on Wednesday July 5, in Kribi, said the cyberspace needs to be secured from ever growing threats and attacks on information systems.

“The adoption of ICTs is not without risks, because malicious individuals exploit the vulnerabilities inherent in information systems, to commit malicious acts, commonly called cybercrimes,” Prof Ebot said. The threats are real. Prof. Ebot revealed some findings by the agency he leads. ANTIC has found 30,652 vulnerabilities of various types, Prof Ebot said.

“About 70% of which is related to the use of non-genuine software which, by its nature, generally contains backdoors, and does not always allow updates”.

When Covid came in 2019, it forced the adoption of virtual meetings. Although the pandemic is gone, institutions have kept the habit of fewer physical meetings. Hence, the use of teleworking and videoconferencing platforms is on the rise. But these information systems are compromised by threats when pirated versions of software are picked from the internet and used by government offices.

Things could be different as the Prime Minister, Head of Government, signed a circular, on June 10, 2014, instructing ministers, and heads of government-run structures to ensure the procurement and only use of authentic software.

An ANTIC security audit reveals that the Prime Minister's orders have been ignored. Only 42.33% of government structures have complied. Meaning 57.67% of public establishments are using fake software, giving away the structures to cybercriminal attacks. To prevent these security breaches, ANTIC has tallied vulnerabilities of these products detected by international IT security centers.

ANTIC has used the data gathered to develop several security reference systems. The workshop was thus an avenue to upgrade the knowledge of the IT departments of government structures on how to prevent, fight and eliminate threats. Mbu Godlove Mbu, Sub Director of Preventive Security at ANTIC’s Computer Incident Response Team, CIRT, holds that “human resources are the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain and training them will reinforce this element because no matter the technical measures put in place, so far as the human resource managing those infrastructure are not trained, they will involuntarily expose such systems to cyber-attacks” .


The ANTIC boss in his opening speech advised the IT experts to stay on the alert and sharpen their cybersecurity skills - so much such as hunting vulnerabilities through penetration testing.

Other than threats from IT savvies, the spread of false information using social networks such as Facebook is a worry government establishments should consider. Government offices have not occupied the social networks to share correct information, according to the ANTIC boss. Leaving those spreading misinformation to control the narrative on these social networks.


Beng Emmanuel

Post a Comment