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Shift from cash to cashless banking fired up cybercrime worldwide—Nkrumah

Clear explanation has emerged on the skyrocketing jump in the activities of cyber fraudsters, who now use advanced technologies to try and hack into the database of institutions in order to steal funds.

This analogy was given by Ghanaian Head of Anti-Money Laundering Office, Financial Stability Department, Bank of Ghana (BoG), Mr George Nkrumah, at the opening of a three-day Financial Crime Sensitisation Seminar organised by the BoG.

Giving further insights at the event, Business Hilights Ghana Bureau chief reports that anti-graft agent, averred that Ghana had lost about $200 million to cyber-crime on a yearly basis.

However, he added that whereas the cyber fraudsters keep targeting the activities in the banking sector, neither would the security agencies relent in monitoring and forestalling their fraudulent manoeuvres.

The seminar, coming on the heels of new collaboration with the Committee for Co-operation between Law Enforcement Agencies and Banking Communities (COCLAB) and other stakeholders, saw participants drawn from the banking, security and judicial sectors amongst others, coming up with ideas on how to create a stronger security synergy against cybercrimes.

In his submission while presenting his paper, Nkrumah said based on the prevailing situation, there is the need to put in place security measures and the adoption of healthy cyber practices to protect the funds of investors.

According to him, “We will continue to monitor their approaches and put in place appropriate measures so they don’t succeed.”

“Time has equally come for banks and financial technologies employers to cross check background of their employees with the BoG to ensure that they don’t have any history of financial fraud- else they could be recruiting fraudsters.

However, here in Nigeria, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, who spoke at the recent 2019 yearly retreat of the Nigerian Bankers’ Committee at Ogere in Ogun State, noted that the deployment of evolving Fintech, is not just about risks to banking operations, but would facilitate financial system development with right investment and preparations ahead of fraudsters.

He said “Cyber risk, which today, is growing in different parts of the world, calls for the banks, the CBN, and the government, to do something about it. The banks have been advised to do more in their management and control of cyber risks.

“The banks were also advised to invest more money in tools, whether soft or hardware, that will help them in containing cyber risks in their operational environment.

“Of course, on the part of the CBN, we have all along been issuing different guidelines and frameworks on how the banks can combat cyber attack and how the industry and how the country can combat the incidence of cyberattacks, which in any case, will continue.

“But we just need to prepare so that when they strike, we would be able to withstand the shock and able to discover it early enough for the banks not to lose money or for depositors funds not to be lost,” he said.

He pointed out that the apex bank is looking at investing in security operations center, which will act as gateway, not only for banks, adding: “Unfortunately, we are all naked today as a result of Internet and cyber and we all have to do everything to protect ourselves,” he added.

He also disclosed plans to migrate phone users who are yet to be included in the financial system to a new initiative called “BVN Lite,” revealing that “The existing Know-Your-Customer (KYC) scheme is part of the new BVN Lite plan, targeted at people who are currently financially excluded in our rural communities that carry phones, but not having financial services.”

Emefiele further added that “With the collaboration of NCC, we are putting this BVN arrangement to allow them conduct minimal financial services. It should be possible for us to migrate this people into the arrangement, where they can conduct minimal financial services, not just banking services, like insurance.”