CSCS Sensitises Financial Market Stakeholders on Cyber-Security

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By Goddy Egene

The Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, Nigeria’s capital market infrastructure, has intensified its cyber-security advocacy by sensitising financial market participants on rising rate of cybercrime.

In a webinar organised by the CSCS, financial market stakeholders, including bankers and capital market operators dialogued on innovative measures for preventing cybercrimes, dire need for increased campaign and exigency of collaborative investments to reign the rising rate of cybercrime.

The theme of the event was: “Cyber security and information during the Pandemic,” was lauded for its timeliness, as COVID-19 pandemic and attendant remote connections may have increased cyber-security risks in many organisations, particularly. This was so because the crime rate has surged globally, with rising exposure of financial services institutions in Nigeria and the broader African continent.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, CSCS Plc, Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri, said: “Cyber-security is a collective effort and everyone must play their role to preserve the integrity and sanctity of the financial market. The pandemic and its attendant remote connections occasioned by business continuity and work-from-home protocols have increased exposures to cyber-security risks and some businesses may have suffered colossal losses due to cyber-attacks since the pandemic.

“More than ever, cyber-attacks are like a double whammy at this challenging time when businesses are re-strategising to adapt to the new normal and ensure sustainability.”

On his part, the Chief Strategy Officer, CSCS Plc, Mr. Femi Onifade, said: “A breach on any market participant’s network may inadvertently expose the entire system, thus reinforcing why we must collaborate to prevent any vulnerabilities in the financial system and why all participants and stakeholders must take active and effective measures in ensuring and sustaining cyber-resilience.”

Also speaking, the Chief Information Security Officer, GTBank Plc, Mr. Bharat Soni, said: “New work culture has expanded remote activities and cloud capabilities to an unprecedented level, thereby making businesses more vulnerable to cyber-attacks such as online scams and phishing, disruptive malware, malicious domains amongst others.

“Hence, the use of strong authentication for accessing networks would no longer be an option but a necessity.”

According to him, “Awareness of the new realities of safe cyber practices need to be communicated to employees, partners and customers so that they can remain aware of the evolving cyber threat and how to best protect themselves and their organisations.”

In the same vein, the Chief Information Security Officer, Interswitch Limited, Mr. Ikechukwu Ugoji said: “Over 90 per cent of cyber breaches are facilitated by phishing email or social engineering attack and that every employee is a first-line of defence against incoming threats and employees must be made to understand their vital roles and responsibility in protecting the organisation.”

Divisional Head, Technology and Innovations, CSCS Plc, Mr. Tobe Nnadozie, said: “The pattern of spend on cybersecurity shows clearly that organisations are making relevant investments to protect their systems and broader market, albeit sadly, lack of vigilance is the leading cause of breaches.”