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Concerns as fraudsters unleash terror on banks, Nigerians


Cyber crime

Cyber thieves, a band of premeditated and dangerous criminals are unleashing reign of terror of unimaginable proportions on the country, underscoring the need for decisive measures to stem the tide.

These unarmed but lethal criminals now pose threats beyond the fraudulent and expensive repercussions of hacking and even the monster called corruption.

Chris Uwaje, a cyber solutions expert, warned that cyber criminals may attack victims simply because they on the internet; or because they have information of value; or because of the value of their intellectual property [IP].Some Nigerians are worried that the activities of fraudsters in banks across the country may have overwhelmed banking operations despite efforts at curbing them.

Gen Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State, called for urgent action by banks and government to stem the tide. Gowon who spoke as chairman of the recent first extra ordinary fellowship investiture of the Charted Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), said, “No day passes without reports of frauds and other unethical practices in the industry. This constitutes a big threat to the values of trust and professionalism which ought to be the basic principles of the banking industry.

“I am imploring the government, banks and security agencies to further beam their searchlights in the direction of fraudsters who make banking difficult”, Gowon said.

Nigeria’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks is exacerbated by lack of skills, manpower, political will and structures including legal and locally engineered infrastructures as well as reliance on external forces for the deployment, design and development of the country’s ICT solutions.

Viola Askia Usoro, acting administrator, Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Lagos, said huge percentage of cyber breaches are due to human errors.Check Point Software Technologies, a global provider of cybersecurity solutions, also recently said that considering that the availability of phones is at a lower price point, more Nigerians are now able to afford a mobile device, and they have become easy target for cyberattacks.

Rick Rogers, regional director, Africa at Check Point, said; “The sheer economy of scale offered by mobile devices is incredibly appealing to cybercriminals. They are using every available opportunity to attack individuals and organisations through their mobile devices, including Apps, particularly because these devices are so popular, and people usually do not take as strict precautions when it comes to securing them as they would with their laptops for example.”

Seeing that Africa was increasingly under threat from cybercriminals, the need for local businesses to partner with security specialists that can help them remain one step ahead of the game is essential, Rogers advised.

Nodding in agreement, Uwaje, added that to overcome cyber-attacks, the banks would need to strengthen their cyber resilience through implementation of adoption of process-oriented good practices, technology and standards, and engagement of right skills and competencies.

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Chris Uwaje
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