The Central Bank of Nigeria has said cybersecurity awareness is a key element in mitigating cyber-risk and the bank is ever ready to partner with industry stakeholders to sustain efforts at educating staff and customers on fraud information and cybersecurity hygiene practices.
The disclosure was made by Haruna Mustafa, director of Banking Supervision, CBN, in his opening speech at the Committee of Chief Information Security Oficers of the Financial Industry (CCISONFI) and Cybersafe Foundation partnership media parley held in Lagos.
Mustafa, represented by Adedeji Adetona Sikiru, explained that as a result of the rise in digital payments, which is facilitated by fintechs, open banking and emerging new technologies, there has been a marked increase in cyber security threats.
He said cyber attacks are major threat to financial system stability not only through their impact on one institution, but also through their impact on multiple components of the financial institution.
Mustafa said the apex bank to improve cyber- resilience of supervised institutions had took some steps which include issuance of the CBN Risk-Based cybersecurity Framework and Guidelines for Deposit Money Banks (the framework) in 2018 among others.
“However, despite the significant investments by the CBN, banks, Fintechs and other industry players to thwart the success rate of cyber-attacks, the human element remains a weak link,” he said.
The CBN director, therefore, emphasised that awareness is key in mitigating cyber-risk adding that CBN is ready to partner with industry stakeholders to sustain efforts at educating staff and customers on fraud information and cybersecurity hygiene practices.
In his welcome address, the chairman of CCISONFI, Mr. Abumere Igboa, said the launch of the public enlightenment programme and cyber awareness initiative, #NoGoFallMaga, was aimed at promoting general public awareness on cybersecurity and reducing cybercrime and financial fraud.
He explained that CCISONFI became necessary due to the need to have an industry body supporting the CBN in providing guidance and advisory services related to cyber, data and information security across the Nigerian financial and payment ecosystem as the cyber threat landscape continued to evolve.
Igboa said the increased use of digital platforms has greatly transformed the cyber and technology landscape, coming with its own risk, especially with sustaining trust and confidence in customers’ ability to communicate and transact securely within the financial ecosystem. A loss of such trust and confidence could undermine the benefits of the CBN’s cashless economy or the ability to continually leverage technology as an enabler of social and economic development. Hence the constant need to address the related challenges of ensuring continuous cybersecurity and data privacy.
“Only through concerted efforts by financial industry stakeholders and ensuring our customers remain cyberaware can we ensure adequate measures are taken to combat some of the cybersecurity challenges,” he said.
customer financial losses to unscrupulous elements tagged cybercriminals.”
In her own speech, the Executive Director, Cybersafe Foundation Mrs. Confidence Staveley, said the partnership with Committee of Chief Information Security Officer of Nigerian Financial Institutions to launch the NoGoFallMaga Campaign, will enable the foundation join forces to reach the 40million Nigerians who currently access financial services across the country, raising mass cybersecurity awareness and consequently reducing the success of rate of cyberfraud attacks among customers.
“There is clearly a need to include an aggressive cybersecurity awareness campaign to compliment other proactive and reactive measures being taken to curb cyberfraud. However, we must collaborate across the financial eco-system, consolidate resources and strengths, and reach across the aisle to sectors like the media for support to drive cybersecurity awareness for significant impact”, she said.