By Festus Ahon, Asaba
A United State of America based Cyber Security expert, Dr. Augustine Ohwobete has told organizations, especially financial institutions to put measures in place to check cyber crimes, following the pace at which digital disruption and innovative new technology were reaching the market.
Ohwobete stated this at a webinar conference with the theme, “Cyber threat Landscape: Financial Services, 2021 and beyond” organised by Information Security Society of Africa, Nigeria, ISSAN.
The Nigerian born Cyber Crime expert listed the different cyber-attacks such as “web-based attack, third party attack and insider threats attacks”, urging organisations “to put resilient structures in place in order to understand the nature of attacks and when attacks are about to happen.
“For financial institutions to adequately check cyber crimes, I therefore, call on organisations to adapt and implement cyber security as a guide, recognise cyber security as big issue, appoint cyber security ambassadors, raise customer awareness, emphasize strong password and Multi-Factor Authorization (MFA)”.
Saying cyber security expert should be a member of decision making and re-emphasize third party vendor management, he said “major transformational change of a bank platform used to take anything between two and five years but regrettably they are up against players with no legacy systems to upgrade and are forcing the pace.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to cause a massive wave of poverty, and that invariably will translate into more people resorting to crime including cybercrime, more economy crashing, local currencies plummeting, more fraud targeting mostly BTC due to cryptocurrency being the most popular one.”
He however said, “cyber security can and should grow the system by taking its rightful place as a business enabler and not a cost center”.
Speaking also, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan advocated for the use of artificial intelligence to predict security threats and proffer solutions.
Akinwuntan said that Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the new game changer, stressing that the manual and semi-automated techniques of monitoring and responding to system issues of the past were grossly inadequate to take care of the risk of the future.
He said; “the new normal of working from home has further exposed institutions to cyber-attacks and data breaches”, adding that “a breach on one vendor could have ripple effects on the organizations”.
Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs Aisha Ahmed, who was represented by the Director of Information Technology, Mrs Rakiya Mohammed, said the conversation around cyber threat could not be more important than now, stressing that the apex bank was committed to strengthening the security framework of financial institutions to prevent the proliferation of such threats.
She said: “The financial sector is particularly susceptibility to cybercrime, given its crucial roles in financial intermediation in a highly connected financial system”, adding that “CBN is committed to strengthening it’s regulatory and supervisory framework for cyber risk and vulnerability testing for the banking sector”.
President of ISSAN, David Isiavwe, called on financial service providers and other organisations that handle large data of customers, to consider putting the right measures in place in order to safeguard their operations.
He stated that the advocacy group would continue to create cybersecurity awareness and data handling.