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Empowering Start-ups Against Social Engineering: Insights from Our Cybersecurity Webinar

The Social Engineering cybersecurity webinar held on Thursday June 2022 by A&D Forensics was highly informative. The webinar was  focused on empowering start-ups against social engineering. Our guest speaker, Dr. Muktar Bello, provided invaluable insights into the digital landscape and the crimes associated with it. In this blog post, we’ll recap the key takeaways from the webinar, highlighting the importance of understanding cyber threats and implementing preventive measures.

Understanding the Digital Environment is essential for empowering yourself against social engineering.

The digital environment not only houses traditional crimes but also enables new forms of criminal activities. Some prevalent cyber-enabled crimes include online sexual exploitation of children, cybercrime, cyber terrorism, terrorism, modern-day slavery, cyber warfare, and business email compromise.

Different Types of Crimes Explained by Dr. Muktar

Distinguishing Cyber-Enabled and Cyber-Dependent Crimes

It’s essential to differentiate between cyber-enabled and cyber-dependent crimes. Cyber-enabled crimes, such as cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and social engineering, rely on technology for execution. On the other hand, cyber-dependent crimes, like malicious software, distributed denial of service attacks, and business email compromise, are dependent on technology and cannot occur without it.

Understanding the The Role of Social Engineering as a Start-up Founder

Social engineering is a significant cyber-enabled crime that preys on human psychology. Examples of social engineering techniques include romance scams and phishing attacks. Understanding these tactics is crucial for you as a start-up founder  to protect yourself, stakeholders, and staff.

To further explain social engineering as a crime, Dr. Muktar applied the Criminology Theory, RAT. The Routine Activity Theory (RAT) provides insights into the factors necessary for a crime to occur. 

According to RAT, three elements must align for a crime to occur

Criminology Theory Art Explained by Dr. Muktar
  1. A motivated offender: the person committing the crime
  2. A suitable target:  the business owner
  3. Absence of a capable guardian: the lack of Preventive measures to protect you against Social engineering.

In the context of social engineering, start-ups need to be aware of potential motivated offenders, recognize themselves as suitable targets, and ensure they have effective preventive measures in place.

Strategies Against Social Engineering For Start-Ups

During the webinar, several strategies were highlighted to protect start-ups against social engineering attacks. These include:

Strategies Against Social Engineering
Strategies Against Social Engineering as Explained by Dr.Muktar
  1. Multi-Factor Authentication: Implementing additional layers of authentication can significantly enhance security and prevent unauthorized access.
  2. Penetration Testing: Regularly conducting penetration tests helps identify vulnerabilities in systems and networks, allowing for timely remediation.
  3. Digital Footprints: Start-ups should be mindful of their online presence and manage their digital footprints to minimize the risk of social engineering attacks.
  4. Cyber Hygiene: Practicing good cyber hygiene, such as regularly updating software, using strong passwords, and being cautious of suspicious emails or links, can significantly reduce the likelihood of falling victim to social engineering scams.
  5. E-mail Sender Verification and Spam Filters: Employing sender verification techniques and enabling spam filters can mitigate the risk of phishing attacks and fraudulent emails.

Understanding National Cybersecurity Policies:

As a web 3 business owner, start-up, or founder in Nigeria, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the National Cybersecurity Policies. By understanding your responsibilities, you can ensure compliance and effectively protect your business against cyber threats. Remember, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

Closing Thoughts

Dr. Muktar Bello concluded the webinar with a powerful reminder: The ABC of Cybercrime Investigations,  “Assume nothing, believe nothing, check everything” when it comes to cybercrime investigations. This mantra highlights the importance of thorough verification and skepticism in today’s digital landscape.

By implementing the strategies discussed in the webinar and staying informed about emerging cyber threats, start-ups can bolster their cybersecurity defenses and empower themselves against social engineering attacks.

To stay updated on future cybersecurity events and gain further insights, follow our social media channels and visit our website. Together, let’s build a safer digital ecosystem for start-ups in Nigeria.

You can also watch a full video clip of the entire session on our YouTube page here:

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Chioma Onyekelu is a highly skilled and accomplished professional in the field of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. She is a Certified Cryptocurrency Investigator and Crypto Compliance Specialist, as well as a Blockchain Forensic Specialist and a teacher. She is also a public speaker and her teachings include consultations and practical solutions for African Start-ups on the best and most cost-effective way to build with compliance in mind. With a wealth of knowledge and experience in these cutting-edge technologies, she is well-equipped to navigate the complex landscape of cryptocurrency-related crimes.

In her current role as a Blockchain Forensic Specialist at A&D Forensics, Chioma is responsible for tracing and investigating cryptocurrency-related crimes, as well as training law enforcement agents and compliance officers on the latest developments and best practices in the field. In addition, she is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Blockchain and Digital Currencies at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, further solidifying her expertise and understanding of the technology.

Chioma's dedication and passion for the field is evident in her work, and she is committed to staying at the forefront of developments in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to provide the best possible service to her clients. Her exceptional skills in educating and consulting make her a valuable asset to the industry and an authority in the field of Blockchain and Crypto Compliance.


Adedeji is a Forensic Investigation Practitioner and CertifiedBlockchain/Cryptocurrency Forensic
Investigator (CFE, CCI, CCFI & Reactor Certified) with more than Fifteen years of experience across few banks within the Nigeria Financial Sector and educator in Corporate workplace settings, Deji is uniquely qualified and involved in forensics analysis of Financial Infractions, Cryptocurrency crimes and designing plans that works for Government, Regulators, Law enforcement.

He was appointed by SEC Nigeria as Member Virtual Asset and Fintech Regulatory framework drafting Committee, He is a member of Global Digital Finance’s KYC/AML working group in France and a member of the Industry led Thinktank that worked on and came out with FATF cryptocurrency Travel rule InterMessaging Standard for Virtual Assets (IVMS101) to help combat money laundering and terrorism financing using cryptocurrencies around the globe.

His law enforcement training efforts on new money and cybercrime have seen him train many law enforcement agents in various countries i.e Nigeria Police, Nigeria Army CyberWarfare command, Zambia Financial Intelligence Unit, Zambia Central Bank and more.
He is Chainalysis Sole Africa Investigative Partner helping law enforcement investigate criminal organizations using cryptocurrency to conceal illiccit activities across Africa, he is also a training Partner for Blockchain Intelligence Group based out of Canada.

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