HomeAnalysisWe’ll protect devices against cyber attacks – INEC

We’ll protect devices against cyber attacks – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday reiterated its commitment to protecting its high-tech equipment from possible cyber-attacks when electronic voting takes effect.

INEC had in its 17-paged policy on conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,  which was signed by its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said, it would β€œpilot the use of electronic voting machines at the earliest possible time (not Edo and Ondo), but work towards the full introduction of electronic voting in major elections starting from 2021.”

While insisting that Nigeria must move with the current trend in technological development, INEC said, presently, its Electronic Voter Register, Permanent Voter Card and Smart Card Reader were all part of electronic voting systems.

INEC National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, gave the assurance in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.

Okoye said, β€œCyber-attacks and cybercrimes are global challenges and are not limited to or peculiar to Nigeria. The commission has been piloting electronic collation and transmission of results. The essence of the pilot is to understand the challenges of the system, plug loopholes, perfect the system and deploy for bigger elections.

β€œIt is the responsibility of the commission to constantly and continuously protect its systems through backups and migrating to more robust platforms.

β€œThe commission will not be bogged down by speculative assumptions of possible cyber-attacks on an aspect of electronic voting systems that has not taken off. We will pilot the system, learn from its challenges and plug loopholes that might be exploited by desperate persons.”

Also, INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze Uzzi, gave an assurance that despite the inherent challenges of electronic voting system, the commission was committed to seeing it through.

Uzzi said INEC would meet with stakeholders, especially the National Assembly on electronic voting to seek legislative support to include it in β€œour laws.”

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