Cyber-security: CSCS chief, others say collaboration key

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Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, Chief Executive Officer, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS)
Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, Chief Executive Officer, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS)

Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, Chief Executive Officer, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, says cyber-security is a collective effort, and everyone must play their roles to preserve the integrity and sanctity of the financial market.

He spoke on Monday at a webinar on “Cyber Security and Information During the Pandemic”, organised by the CSCS, Nigeria’s capital market infrastructure.

Financial market stakeholders, including bankers and capital market operators, shared ideas on innovative measures for preventing cybercrimes at the webinar.

Jalo-Waziri said that eradicating cybercrimes required collaborative effort.

According to him, the pandemic and its attendant remote connections occasioned by business continuity and work-from-home protocols have increased exposures to cyber-security risks.

He said that some businesses may also 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-strategising to adapt to the new normal and ensure sustainability,” he said.

Mr Femi Onifade, the Chief Strategy Officer, CSCS, said that a breach on a market operator’s system could inadvertently expose the  entire system.

This, he said, reinforced why all must collaborate to prevent any vulnerabilities in the financial system.

He said that all participants and stakeholders must take active and effective measures in ensuring and sustaining cyber-resilience.

Mr Bharat Soni, Chief Information Security Officer, GTBank Plc, said the new work culture had expanded remote activities and cloud capabilities to an unprecedented level.

He said this had made businesses more vulnerable to cyber-attacks such as online scams and phishing, disruptive malware, malicious domains amongst others.

Soni said that due to this, the use of strong authentication for accessing networks would no longer be an option but a necessity.

According to Soni, awareness of the new realities of safe cyber practices needs to be communicated to employees, partners and customers.

He said this was necessary so that they could remain aware of the evolving cyber threat and how to best protect themselves and their organisations.

Mr Ikechukwu Ugoji, Chief Information Security Officer, Interswitch Limited, said that over 90 per cent of breaches were facilitated by phishing emails or social engineering attacks.

He said 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, Mr Tobe Nnadozie, Divisional Head, Technology and Innovations, CSCS, noted that the pattern of spending on cyber-security showed that organisations were taking steps to protect their systems.

“Organisations are making relevant investments to protect their systems and broader market, albeit sadly, lack of vigilance is the leading cause of breaches,” he said.

The attendees lauded the timeliness of the webinar, as COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant remote connections may have increased cyber-security risks in many organisations.

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