Expert urges firms to boost capacity against cyber attacks
The President, Fintech Association of Nigeria, Dr Segun Aina, has stressed the need for organisations to up skill the capacity of their employees to identify and defend against cyber-attacks.Aina said this during the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Lagos State Branch, Bankers & Stakeholders Night in Lagos on Thursday.
He said that investment in initiatives and infrastructure to protect against cyber-attacks was low, which has resulted to an increase in the cybercrime rate.
Aina, who is also the Chairman, Global Banking Education Standards Board, said that cybercrime was the biggest threat to banks in the digital age and might lead to another global financial crisis.
According to him, banks’ losses to fraud in Nigeria increased to N15.15 billion in 2018, which constitutes an increase of 539 per cent, compared to the N2.37 billion recorded in 2017.
He said that internet and technology-based sources of fraud accounted for 59 per cent of fraud cases and 43 per cent of actual losses.
“According to the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), cybercrime will cost the world six trillion dollars annually by 2021, from three trillion dollars in 2015.
“Global spending on security awareness training for employees is predicted to reach 10 billion dollars by 2027, up from around one billion dollars in 2014,’’ he said.
The expert said that Nigeria requires an integrated and all inclusive public/private sector approach to fast-track the implementation of digital government initiatives and programmes to harness the potential of the digital revolution.
“In today’s environment, embracing the digital system is no longer something good to do, it is a mandate for survival.
“Banks must take actions today to guarantee survival and competitiveness tomorrow,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Uche Olowu, President of CIBN, said the era of digital banking has gained traction, and is projected to cross nine trillion dollars by 2024.
“In view of these developments, banks who wish to survive need to rethink their business models in order to stay relevant.
“As we all know, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as part of its National Financial Inclusion Strategy aims to significantly increase financial inclusion rates from 58.4 per cent recorded in 2016 to 80 per cent in 2020.
“Banks who choose to operate under the current banking model would hinder the advancement of this policy.
“On the other hand, banks who choose to stay ahead of the curve can leverage on digital banking to further enhance the efforts of the Apex bank.” he said.
Olowu said that the impact of the initiative was crucial not only for survival in the changing banking terrain but for economic growth and development.
“In rethinking their banking models, the banking industry should consider further adoption of technological advancements such as Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and collaboration with Fintech Firms in increasing coverage and access points,’’ he said.
Olowu, therefore, urged banks to remember their core services and evolve more innovative ways to offer services outside of the traditional ways.