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Virtual Federal Executive Council Meeting Not Carried Out Using Systems Running Windows 7 Operating System

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It has come to our notice, rather unfortunately, that there are unfounded and mischievous insinuations from some quarters that the virtual Federal Executive Council meetings coordinated by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and executed by Galaxy Backbone Limited with support of NITDA (the regulator of the sector) and NigComSat is being held on a platform running a deprecated operating system, thereby presenting potential security issues. 

Ordinarily we would not have responded to the write-up, but in the interest of the reading public we are compelled to provide some clarifications.

The photo of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy which precipitated this wrong assertion was taken in the Network Monitoring Center (NMC) of the Uptime Institute Tier 3 certified National Shared Services Center, a Data Center operated by Galaxy Backbone Limited. The screen is a display of monitoring activities around our network across the country. 

The computing systems running this monitoring are offline. 

There are systems that are specially designed such that absolutely no feature changes can be tolerated for the life of their devices; examples medical control equipment, PoS systems, ATMs, Digital Signage, etc. Such systems typically have a 10-year servicing and support lifecycles. This is where our network monitoring system belongs.

The computers that support this network monitoring system are about 10 in number and all enjoy extended Windows 7 Security Updates until 2023 (please see https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4527878/faq-about-extended-security-updates-for-windows-7 for details). 

As an organization with the ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 certifications, we take IT service and information security management very seriously and upgrade our systems as need be, based on those standards.

We want to assure our fellow citizens that the virtual Federal Executive Council is holding on cutting edge technology infrastructure with all compute components up to date with a very robust network security system with Next Generation Firewalls forming a ring fencing around it. 

The video conferencing system does not run on a Windows operating system.

While we appreciate the feedback and interest from citizens around what we do, please rest assured that we are an organization made up of seasoned, well trained, and vastly experienced ICT professionals, determined to continue to provide the best infrastructure to support the Federal Government’s Digital Economy initiative that is being driven by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under the able supervision of the Honorable Minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).

Signed:

Prof. Muhammad Abubakar

MD/CEO 

Galaxy Backbone Limited

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