Cyber risk: CBN deploys Cybersecurity Fusion Centre

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Speaking in Lagos, at the media parley organised by the Committee of Chief Information Security Officers of the Nigeria Financial Industry and Cybersafe Foundation, the Director of Banking Supervision, CBN, Mr. Haruna B. Mustafa, said it was part of the measures being put in place to enhance the industry resilience.

Represented by Dr. Adedeji Adetona Sikiru, an Assistant Director, said the platform aims to provide a united interface for cybersecurity intelligence sharing and enhanced incident response capabilities to achieve the overall safety of the financial ecosystem.

The centre, he said, will provide centralised cyberspace monitoring and crisis response, threat intelligence sharing and analytics, managed cybersecurity services, a world class cyber forensic lab and a cybersecurity training centre for the financial sector in Nigeria.

He said the CBN has created awareness on cybersecurity, quarterly trainings for all staff which they are mandated to take.

“It is, therefore, imperative that the CBN will participate in any efforts aimed at educating the populace on cybersecurity with the consequent impact of creating a cyber-resilient environment,” he said.

The CBN official pointed out that despite significant investments by the apex financial regulator, banks, Fintechs, and other industry players to thwart the success rate of cyber-attacks, the human element remains a weak link.

Cybersecurity awareness, he also said, is the totality of efforts made by stakeholders to ensure that customers do not fall victim to the antics of fraudsters and institutions are not held ransom by hackers.

“Cybersecurity awareness is a key element in mitigating cyber-risk, and the CBN is ready to partner with industry stakeholders to sustain efforts at educating staff and customers on fraud information and cybersecurity hygiene practices,” he said.

The director reassured of CBN’s readiness to partner with industry stakeholders to develop awareness programmes that could be integrated into the education system in Nigeria to create a security culture for citizens from childhood.

Chairman, Committee of Chief Information Security Officers of the Nigeria Financial Industry (CCISONFI), Mr. Abumere Igboa, said the Committee was established in 2019 with inspiration of CBN in efforts to create a better financial environment capable of boosting the number of electronic transactions in the country.

The Executive Director, Cybersafe Foundation, Ms Confidence Staveley, said with social engineering being the method of choice by cybercriminals to perpetuate electronic fraud in the country, efforts to educate customers of financial institutions on cyber best practices, especially the most vulnerable, must be stepped up.

“Using traditional platforms or formats may no longer suffice; creative approaches, using communication channels reaching semi-rural communities, leveraging entertaining music, and others must be thrown into the mix,” she said.

According to her, Cyber Safe Foundation is Nigeria’s foremost non-governmental organisation in the information security domain, on a mission to facilitate pockets of changes human capacity and behavioural changes that ensure inclusive and safe digital access in Nigeria.

“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 post, insightful events, media leverage and laudable programmes cum initiatives,” Staveley said.

This partnership with CCISONFI on NoGoFallMaga Campaign, she said, will enable joint 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 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 cyber fraud,” she declare, stressing the need to collaborate across the financial eco-system, consolidate resources and strengths, and reach across the aisle to sectors like the media for support to drive cybersecurity awareness for significant impact.

The launch as witnessed by the chairman, Cybersafe Board, Dr. Peter Obadare, and board member, Mr. Femi Orekoya, as well as delegates from CCISONFI, including  Group Chief Information Security Officer at Access Bank, Mrs. Favour Femi-Oyewole and Unit Head, Security Policy and Cyber Risk at Access Bank, Mr. Akinsola Akintilu