CSCS, Stakeholders Brainstorm On Capital Market Cyber-Security Post-Covid

Worried by the rising rate of cybercrime in the country, management of the Central Securities Clearing System Plc, on Monday continued its cyber-security advocacy, sensitizing financial market participants, especially following the increased migration of economic activities online.

The session, according to a statement, was organized to enable stakeholders dialogue on innovative measures for preventing cybercrimes, the dire need for increased campaign, and the exigency of collaborative investments to reign the rising rate of cybercrime. It attracted financial market stakeholders from the banking sector, capital market, and public service.

Speaking at a webinar organized by CSCS, Haruna Jalo-Waziri, the Chief Executive Officer, CSCS Plc reminded all that “cybersecurity is a collective effort, and everyone must play their role to preserve the integrity and sanctity of the financial market.

“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 cyberattacks since the pandemic,” he lamented further.

Continuing, Jalo-Waziri regretted at the event with the theme “Cyber Security and Information During the Pandemic,” that “more than ever, cyberattacks are like a double whammy at this challenging time when businesses are re-strategizing to adapt to the new normal and ensure sustainability.”

Also speaking on the event, Femi Onifade, the Chief Strategy Officer, CSCS Plc, warned 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.”

For Bharat Soni (Chief Information Security Officer, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, a panelist at the session, the “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.”

This is why, he continued, “the use of strong authentication for accessing networks would no longer be an option but a necessity.

“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”.

Another panelist, Ikechukwu Ugoji, Chief Information Security Officer, Interswitch Limited, estimated that “over 90% of cyber breaches are facilitated by phishing email or social engineering attack and that every employee is a first-line of defence against incoming threats and employees must be made to understand their vital roles and responsibility in protecting the organization.”

On his part, Tobe Nnadozie, Divisional Head, Technology and Innovations, CSCS Plc, who was also a panelist, posited that “the pattern of spend on cybersecurity shows clearly that organizations are making relevant investments to protect their systems and broader market, albeit sadly, lack of vigilance is the leading cause of breaches”.

Participants lauded the organizers of the event which they described as timely, given that the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant remote connections may have increased cyber-security risks in many organizations, particularly as the crime rate surges globally, with rising exposure of financial services institutions in Nigeria and the broader African continent.