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ATCON identifies data sovereignty for local data center growth, cybersecurity

Association of telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has identified proactive data sovereignty policy framework as indispensable condition for cyber and national security drives.

Mr. Olusola Teniola, made the remark in his maiden press conference as the newly elected president of ATCON, adding that the most tactical approach to tackling cyber security involves developing local content and localization of data hosting infrastructure.

He explained that in the knowledge economic order championed by the internet, data is the precious currency every country, including Nigeria, must guide jealously.

Data sovereignty, according to Wikipedia, typically, implies the concept that information which has been converted and stored in binary digital form is subject to the laws of the country in which it is located.

Similarly, Ovum reported recently that the global migration to cloud-based IT systems is forcing governments to update data privacy regulations to meet evolving data sovereignty requirements.

Ovem said that the data privacy regulatory landscape is seriously concerning global businesses, as two-thirds of businesses expect to have to change in their global business strategies to accommodate new data privacy regulations.

Also, over half of businesses think they will be fined due to the pending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe; while more than 70 percent of businesses expect budgets to rise to meet new data sovereignty regulations.

However, Teniola said that ATCON recommends local content development as critical to protect, control and locate sensitive information so that individuals and businesses can meet these emerging demands.

“The internet is very huge and the components parts are quite dynamic than most people envisage. For us not to remain prey to other nations, it is our belief in ATCON that cybersecurity can best be championed via local content and local hosting of data. When we have the right ideologies and policy framework, then we can talk about infrastructure capacities. As a matter of fact, data sovereignty vis-à-vis domestication of data hosting will lead to investment on data centres and other infrastructure”, he added.

Teniola, who succeeded Engr. Lanre Ajayi also reassured the new executives of the desire to work “tirelessly to take ATCON as an institution to an enviable position through execution of programmes that would aid telecoms industry growth. For me, the Association has once again proved to the whole industry that it believes in corporate governance”.

The new ATCON President said that, the current NEC will be more proactive in that a form will be sent on monthly basis to all telecom companies that are not registered with ATCON to find out some of the areas that the Association needs to intervene before the matter get out of hand among members or the relevant government regulatory commissions.

“This administration shall not be reactionary but more proactive, pragmatic and involving. We want to further promotion and encourage harmonious relationship which would impact positively on the general wellbeing of our members as well as Nigerians. All pending issues in the industry we shall plan to resolve them so that more investors can come to our sector,” he assured.

He highlighted that after a thorough consultation, he developed the following goals for the Association: Strategic and purposeful engagements with all tiers of government as the conceptualization of the Association of Telecommunication Company was to support and give direction to the policy formulation and implementation in Nigeria, among others.

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