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Fresh worry over non passage of cyber security bill to curb e-fraud

By Emeka Aginam

Lack of appropriate legal framework needed to prosecute offenders in e-fraud appears to be turning Nigeria into a preferred destination for cybercriminals who now use the country as a base to target developed economies.

This development, according to report has made banking industry to incur loss of revenue of about N159 billion through cyber crime between the year 2000 and 2013 respectively.

Just recently,   Information Security Society of Africa, Nigeria (ISSAN) and   stakeholders in the banking industry at the end of a roundtable organized by the society in collaboration with an IT firm, Digital Encode Limited, for Chief Internal Auditors and Chief Information Officers of bank expressed fresh worry over absence of an appropriate legislation to deal with electronic offenders in the country.

The forum  held in Lagos among other things discussed the incessant attacks by cybercriminals on banks, action plan for the protection of payment systems and the banking industry as a whole, the Central Bank’s biometric project and its impact on banks and consumers alike, from a security perspective.

In a communiqué issued at the end of forum, participants identified the inability of the National Assembly to pass the Nigeria Cybercrime Act into law as a major drawback in curtailing cybercrime in the country.
Already,  ISSAN at the end of the forum  had  inaugurated   a committee to act as the industry’s pressure group to liaise with the National Assembly towards a speedy passage of the cybercrime law.

Members of the committee included the Managing Directors of Interswitch, and NIBSS,   the representatives from the Bankers Committee; the National Security Adviser and the CBN, among others.
While noting the increasing rate of incessant attacks by cybercriminals on banks, ISSAN urged the Committee of Internal Auditors of Banks to liaise with the Committee of E-Banking Industry Heads (CeBIH) and engage Mastercard & Visa card on EMV cards frauds in the country.

Earlier in his welcome address, the ISSAN President, David  Isiavwe described the roundtable as a critical milestone  “in the gamut of activities and efforts towards   achieving total security of the banking environment in Nigeria.”
While the proliferation of e-channels   has brought banking services closer to customers, he said that this has   further increased the risk of cyber crime.

“The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving and we expect new forms of threats and attacks (including zero day attacks) to emerge with each passing day. We therefore need to be proactive rather than reactive. We need to carefully  x-ray our processes and operations to see what we are not  doing right; what areas need to be further inoculated and  what urgent  practical steps we can take to ensure that our  IT infrastructure is secure and can support the business  objectives and strategies of our respective  organizations,” Isiavwe  he explained.


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