Central Bank of Nigeria Headquarters, Abuja, FCT

Cybersecurity: CBN partners with stakeholders on safe financial services for consumers

*The Central Bank of Nigeria says it is ready to partner with industry stakeholders to sustain efforts at educating staff and consumers on fraud information and cybersecurity hygiene practices for reliable and safe financial services in the country

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In a move towards tackling cybercrime, which poses a threat to sustainably reliable and safe banking experience by consumers of financial products and services  in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has partnered with some cybersecurity stakeholders to launch a new cyber awareness campaign tagged, ‘# NoGoFallMaga’.

That the initiative has been activated in partnership with Committee of Chief Information Security Officers of the Nigeria Financial Industry (CCISONFI) and Cybersafe Foundation (CSF), agency report said.

Mr. Abumere Igboa, Chairman of CCISONFI, disclosed the partnership during a Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign Media Parley Monday, July 19, 2021, at Radisson Blu, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Igboa stated: “This initiative looks at tackling cybercrime that poses a threat to customers and the Nigeria citizenry in conducting reliable and safe financial services.

“Although the use of digital platforms has transformed the cyber and technology landscape, it also has its own risk, especially with sustaining trust in customers’ ability to transact securely within the financial ecosystem.”

Loss of such trust and confidence could undermine the benefits of CBN’s cashless economy or the ability to continually leverage on technology, he noted.

According to Igboa, there is a constant need to address the related challenges of ensuring continuous cybersecurity and data privacy.

“We have also realised that only through concerted efforts by financial industry stakeholders and ensuring our customers remain cyberaware, can we then eliminate or take measures to reduce the activities of cyber criminals,” stated CCISONFI Chairman.

In his address on the occasion, Mr. Confidence Staveley, Executive Director of Cybersafe Foundation, also said the partnership would enable the stakeholders to join forces in reaching out to 40 million Nigerians, who currently access financial services across the country.

Staveley said: “This will also help in raising mass cybersecurity awareness and consequently reduce the success of rate of cyberfraud attacks among customers.

“There is clearly a need to include an aggressive cybersecurity awareness campaign to compliment other proactive and reactive measures being taken to curb cyberfraud.

He, however, observed that stakeholders “must collaborate across the financial eco-system, consolidate resources, strengths and reach across the aisle to sectors like the media for support to drive cybersecurity awareness for significant impact.”

Mr. Haruna Mustafa, Director of Banking Supervision Department at CBN, in his remarks at the forum, said that cybersecurity awareness was a key element in mitigating cyber-risk in the financial services sector of the economy.

Mustafa, represented by Dr. Adedeji Sikiru, Deputy Director of Banking Supervision, noted that the Bankers’ Bank is ready to partner with industry stakeholders to sustain efforts at educating staff and customers on fraud information and cybersecuriy hygiene practices.

He stated: “It would also be beneficial to the industry if banks extend their cybersecurity awareness programme to their customers, using various media in Nigerian languages such Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa, among others, for an improved ecosystem.

“Another area of focus is driving and integrating awareness programme into the Nigerian education system.”

According to Mustafa, who said that the present generation of students were practically born with technology in their hands noted that cybersecurity must be an integral part of their education in Nigeria.

Students, teachers, and administrators all needed access to the learning tools necessary to understand, detect and avoid cyber threats they might encounter in their daily activities, said he.

The Director of Banking Supervision added: “To this end, the CBN is ready to partner with industry stakeholders to develop awareness programme that can be integrated into the education system in Nigeria to create a security culture for citizens from childhood.”

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