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‘Cashless policy at stake as cyber fraud persist’

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Experts in the technology industry have stated that the lack of trust in the use of digital platforms could undermine the benefits of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cashless policy.

They noted that the increased use of digital platforms transformed cyber and technology landscape, which has its own risk, especially with sustaining trust and confidence in customer’s ability to communicate and transact securely within the financial ecosystem.

The experts spoke at a cyber security awareness campaign organised by Cybersafe foundation and Committee of Chief Information Security Officers of Nigerian Financial Institutions (CCISONFI) tagged: “#NoGoFallMaga.”

Specifically, the Chairman of CCISONFI, Abumere Igboa, noted that a loss of trust and confidence could undermine the ability to continually leverage technology as an enabler of social and economic development. He expressed the need to address the related challenges of ensuring continuous cyber security and data privacy.

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“We have also come to the realisation 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 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 contents and messages in major Nigerian languages including Pidgin English.”

Director, Banking Supervision department, CBN, Haruna Mustafa, who was represented by Dr. Adedeji Adetona, identified human elements as a weak link to thwart the success rate of cyberattacks despite efforts by Fintechs, banks and other industry players.

He described cyber security awareness as a key element in mitigating attacks, saying that the CBN is ready to partner with key industry stakeholders to sustain efforts at educating staff and customers on fraud information and cyber security hygiene practices.

He urged banks to extend their cyber security awareness programme to their customers using various media in Nigerian indigenous languages for an improved ecosystem.

Executive Director, Cybersafe Foundation, Confidence Staveley, said efforts are in top gear to educate customers of financial institutions on cyber hygiene best practices, especially the most vulnerable, must be stepped up.

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She added that using traditional platforms or formats may no longer suffice, hence creative approaches, using communication channels reaching semi-rural communities, leveraging entertaining music, among others must be thrown into the mix.

“At Cybersafe, we work tirelessly to improve cyber safety in Nigeria, especially for the most vulnerable in our society through our initiatives. We create impact through mission-aligned collaborations, social media activism, captivating content, educative social media posts, insightful events, media leverage and laudable programs/initiatives.

“Our 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. Digital fraud in this context includes, 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.

“This partnership with Committee of Chief Information Security Officer of Nigerian Financial Institutions (CCISONFI) to launch the NoGoFallMaga Campaign, will enable us join forces to reach the 40 million Nigerians who currently access financial services across the country, raising mass cybersecurity awareness and consequently reducing the success of rate of cyber fraud attacks among customers.”

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