Banks Urged to Collaborate against Cybercrime

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Osaretin Demuren
President of BDAN, Mrs Osaretin Demuren

Nume Ekeghe

Nigerian banks have been advised to collaborate and share vital information on cybercrime.

This, according to experts, would enable the financial institutions win the battle against cybercrime.

Speaking at the 2019 Bank Directors’ Association of Nigeria (BDAN) Conference in Lagos Thursday, directors of banks, operators in the financial technology space and security experts highlighted ways to mitigate the activities of hackers.

President of BDAN, Mrs Osaretin Demuren, who is also the Chairman of Guaranty Trust Bank, noted that sharing information would help the industry demystify the activities of hackers and cyber criminals thereby making them less effective in the financial sector.

Noting that in corporate governance, the board is the first line of defence, she said, “ignorance or lack of knowledge is not an excuse so we need to be well equipped. Gone are the days when you have to manage information. We need to share information so that we demystify what this is all about.

“Until we demystify, hackers will have a field day but once it is demystified and people know what it is all about and people know the secret of these hackers because what they want is the financial benefit.

“Cyber security is one of the top risk that is being faced not just in the financial sector, but in all sectors.

“However the impact is more felt in the financial sector, because once you hack into one, all the others are open. So it is very important that people are aware of cyber risk and the damage it can do businesses.

“One of the objectives of BDAN is to have practitioners, bankers come round and hold seminars because what is affecting you is affecting every other person. We have to learn from one another.

“If you don’t speak out we would be dying in silence. We need them to share experiences and be aware of what is happening. Yes, competition is there, but you can use the sharing to learn and improve your competition. Nobody is saying you should share your secret but you take what is needed and give what is needed so your colleagues are protected because one bank cannot serve a country.

Also, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Wema Bank, Mr Ademola Adebise, called for more collaboration.

Managing Director and Chief Executive of Computer Warehouse Group, Mr Austin Okere, however, lamented the attitude of banks who hide details of an attack whether it was successful of not.