CSCS Warns Financial Market Participants of Alarming Rise in Cybercrime


By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Stakeholders in the Nigerian financial market have been warned to remain vigilant because of the alarming rise in cybercrime in the space.

According to the CEO of the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, everyone must come together to tackle this issue, which has the tendency to damage the image of the market.

Speaking at a webinar organised by the CSCS to discuss innovative measures for preventing cybercrimes, Mr Jalo-Waziri noted that “cybersecurity is a collective effort and everyone must play their role to preserve the integrity and sanctity of the financial market.”

He said, “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-strategizing to adapt to the new normal and ensure sustainability,” he posited.

Business Post gathered that the event was put together to harvest views of financial market participants like bankers, capital market operators, investors and others on how to raise awareness on curbing the rising rate of cybercrime.

The webinar themed 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 as the crime rate surges globally, with rising exposure of financial services institutions in Nigeria and the broader African continent.

In his contribution, 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.”

He concluded that “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 organizations.”

On his part, the Chief Strategy Officer of CSCS Plc, Mr Femi Onifade, stressed that “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.”

Echoing this view was Mr Ikechukwu Ugoji, the Chief Information Security Officer of Interswitch Limited, who informed participants that, “Over 90 per cent of cyber breaches are facilitated by a phishing email or social engineering attack and that every employee is the first line of defence against incoming threats and employees must be made to understand their vital roles and responsibility in protecting the organization.”

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

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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