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Lagos Launches Cybersecurity Initiative, Plans Innovation Bill To Protect Digital Infrastructure | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

The Lagos State government, through the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology (MIST) has launched its cybersecurity project designed to safeguard the State’s digital infrastructure against potential attacks that are becoming rampant.

Lagos is also pushing for a State Innovation Bill through which it could implement policies and laws that would improve the development of technology in the State.

The Innovation Bill, if passed into law, seeks to create incentive packages for technology companies registered in the State that would enable them to grow and drive technology development in the State. The first stakeholders’ session to discuss the Innovation Bill and also co-create it, would be held this week in Lagos.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Science, Innovation and Technology Mr. Olatunbosun Alake, who disclosed this at the 2024 ministerial press briefing in Lagos, on Monday, said the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), which is mandated to drive the innovation index of the State including research and development in the state, would rely on the Lagos Innovation Bill to further boost technology innovation in the state.

He said LASRIC had over the last three years, funded over 60 technology startup companies and distributed over N800 million in grants to startups and universities for research and development, and secured one patent for an original invention of a digital solution at the University of Lagos.     

According to Alake, the cybersecurity project was part of a broader strategy to improve overall security and governance within the state.

The cybersecurity project involves partnerships with leading cybersecurity firms and international organisations, and the collaborations would provide the state with access to cutting-edge technologies and expertise, enhancing its capacity to defend against sophisticated cyber threats.

The Commissioner said a Cybersecurity Operations Center (CSOC) had been established to serve as the hub for monitoring, detecting, and responding to cyber threats in real-tie.

“The centers will employ advanced technologies and a team of cybersecurity experts to ensure the state’s digital infrastructure is safeguarded against potential attacks.

“The state has also established a cyber-security council, made up of experts from both public and private sectors, charged with the responsibility of making recommendations to the government, planning refinement and implementation of policies, programmes and training initiatives regarding its cybersecurity endeavours,” Alake said.

On data Protection Compliance Project, Alake said the State has embarked on sensitisation and awareness workshops for all heads of Accounts, Procurement, Planning, Legal Officers, D&HR, Medical Directors, Body of Permanent Secretaries, Cabinet members, Head of Cadres Statewide and for 43 MDAs, as well as the establishment of 70 Data Protection officers in various MDAs.

The Commissioner said the objectives of the data protection compliance project would be to safeguard the rights of natural persons to data privacy and fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data; preventing manipulation of personal data; and ensuring that Nigerian businesses remain competitive in international trade with best practice.

Alake, further said the Art of Technology Lagos (AOT), an annual tech conference that brings together key technology industry stakeholders, policymakers, government officials, venture capital firms, startups, and technology talent, has helped the state in the areas of technology innovation and development for a smarter Lagos.

Emma Okonji and Agnes Ekebuike

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