Expert Seeks Measures to Prevent Cybercrimes

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

A United States-based cybersecurity expert, Dr. Augustine Ohwobete has advised that as the pace of digital disruption accelerates and innovative new technology reach the market, organisations and other financial institutions should put measures in place to check cybercrimes.

The Nigerian born Cybercrime expert said this during a webinar with the theme, “Cyber threat Landscape: Financial Services, 2021 and beyond,” organised by Information Security Society of Africa, Nigeria (ISSAN).
Ohwobete listed the different cyber-attacks such as web-based attack, third party attack, insider threats attacks, and advised 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 cybercrimes, he called on organisations to adapt and implement cyber security as a guide, recognise cyber security as big issue, appoint cyber security ambassadors, raise customer awareness, emphasise strong password and Multi-Factor Authorisation (MFA), adding that cyber security expert should be a member of decision making and re-emphasise third party vendor management.

The cybercrime expert said a 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 noting that “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”, saying however that 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 Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be a 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 organisations.”

The Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Aisha Ahmed, who was represented by the Director of Information Technology (IT) at CBN, 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 noted that, “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.

ISSAN President, 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 will continue to create cybersecurity awareness and data handling.

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