The rise in digital payments facilitated by FinTechs, open banking and emerging technologies, has led to an increase in electronic financial frauds and other cybersecurity threats.
Therefore, cybersecurity awareness has become inevitable in efforts by stakeholders to ensure that customers do not fall victim to the antics of fraudsters and institutions are not held ransom by hackers.
Mr. Haruna Mustafa, director of Banking Supervision at the Central Bank of Nigeria stated these in his keynote address to the members of the Committee of Chief Information Security Officers of Nigerian Financial Institutions (CCISONFI), officials of Cybersafe Foundation and on other industry stakeholders present at a media parley on Monday, July 19, 2021 in Lagos for the launch of ‘#NoGoFallMaga campaign‘ aimed at putting structures in place to create awareness of cybersecurity among 40 million Nigerians within the next two years and achieve cyber-resilient ecosystem.
… Campaign to complement CBN’s efforts towards cybersafe financial industry – Dr. Sikiru
Mustafa, who was represented by Dr Adedeji Adetona Sikiru, an official of the apex bank, said that cyber-attacks are a 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 institutions.
“The development of robust mechanisms to ensure that financial institutions have in place the necessary safeguards to protect against loss of data, fraud and cyber incursions in their respective systems was part of the Governor of Central Bank’s 5-year policy thrust 2019-2024”.
Mustapa mentioned some of the steps taken by the CBN to improve the cyber-resilience supervised institution to include the issuance of the CBN Risk-Based Cybersecurity Framework and Guidelines for Deposit Money Banks (the Framework) in 2018.
Speaking on CCISONFI and Cybersafe Foundation collaboration towards increasing the cybersecurity awareness in the financial industry, the director said that such a gesture will help to entrench trust among the customers and boost CBN’s cashless society drives.
To this end he said, “CBN is ready to partner with industry stakeholders to develop awareness programs that can be integrated into the education system in Nigeria to create a security culture for citizens from childhood.
… #NoGoFallMaga Campaign will lead to reduction in cybercrime, financial fraud in Nigeria – Igboa
Nodding in agreement, Mr Abumere Igboa, chairman of CCISONFI, said that the public enlightenment program and cyber awareness initiative tagged #NoGoFallMaga shows industry players’ commitment towards promoting general public awareness on cybersecurity.
He believes that the course will lead to drastic reduction in cybercrime and financial fraud in Nigeria.
“Its success is largely centred on the strategic trio partnership between the CBN, CCISONFI (a committee formed under the guidance of the Central Bank of Nigeria and made up of the Chief Information Security Officers of Nigerian Deposit Money Banks and Payment Service Providers (PSPs)) and finally Cybersafe Foundation, an independent non-governmental organisation registered under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Committee of Chief Information Security Officers of Nigerian Financial Institutions (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 & Payment ecosystem as the cyber threat landscape continued to evolve.
“This initiative looks at tackling cybercrime that poses a threat to customers & the Nigeria citizenry in conducting reliable and safe financial services”, Igboa added.
He said that as chief information security officers in banks the members have witnessed an increased adoption of digital/technology platforms post the Covid-19 pandemic crisis by different financial institutions for delivering innovative financial solutions, expanding its operations, and being able to reach both existing and potential customers.
“This Increased use of digital platforms has greatly transformed the cyber & technology landscape thereby coming with its own risk, especially with sustaining trust and confidence in customer’s ability to communicate, and transact securely within the financial ecosystem.
“A loss of such trust and confidence could undermine the benefits of CBN’s cashless economy or the ability to continually leverage technology as an enabler of social and economic development. Hence there is a constant need to address the related challenges of ensuring continuous cybersecurity and data privacy.
“We have also come to the realization that only through concerted efforts by financial industry stakeholders and ensuring our customers remain cyber- aware, can we then eliminate, reduce or ensure adequate measures are taken to combat some of the cybersecurity challenges including preventing customer financial losses to unscrupulous elements tagged cybercriminals.
“We look forward to a rewarding partnership and successful achievement of our target objectives which include reaching more than 40 million customers in the first two years of its launch and finally delivering awareness contents and messages in major Nigerian languages including pidgin English”, he explained.
… #NoGoFallMaga is a movement of young people against cybercrime – Staveley
On her part, Confidence Staveley, executive director of Cybersafe Foundation, said that with Social engineering being the method of choice by cybercriminals to perpetuate electronic fraud in the country, efforts to educate customers of financial institutions on cyber hygiene best practices, especially the most vulnerable, must be stepped up.
Staveley said that using traditional platforms or formats may no longer suffice hence creative approaches, using communication channels reaching semi-rural communities, leveraging entertaining music, etc., must be thrown into the mix.
CyberSafe Foundation is Nigeria’s foremost non-Governmental organization in the information security domain, on a mission to facilitate pockets of changes in human capacity and behavioural changes that ensure inclusive and safe digital access in Nigeria.
She said that the flagship initiative #NoGoFallMaga, also adopted as the name for this cross-financial industry cyber awareness campaign, is a national movement of young people, working to combat preventable digital fraud with consumer-centred sensitization and education.
She defined digital fraud in this context to include; email deception, phone-based scams, online fraud – particularly where cybercriminals impersonate trusted organizations. We leverage fun experiences and content, to catalyse the decline of cyber-related fraud, one trickle of knowledge at a time.
…Media are critical partners towards the success of the campaign – Dr. Obadare
Dr. Peter Obadare, chairman, Advisory Board of Cybersafe Foundation, further underscored the need to include an aggressive cybersecurity awareness campaign to complement other proactive and reactive measures being taken to curb cyber fraud in Nigeria.
He also called on the media to support the efforts of industry players in this regard. “The partners need media collaboration to succeed on this campaign. The fight against this monster called Cyber Fraud is a collective one,” Dr. Obadare said.