Cyber space stakeholders are calling for the integration of multiple Nigerian identity system into a unified system to easily detect and track perpetrators of cybercrime.
The stakeholders, comprising of representatives from Deposit Money Banks, FinTechs, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), among others joined their counterparts globally to mark the 2023 Cybersecurity Awareness Month marked.
They explained that the “Nigerian Identity’’ plan would allows the international passport, phone number, Bank Verification Number belonging to one individual to grafted in a composite interconnected file to easily detect and track perpetrators of cybercrime.
Speaking at the Information Security Society of Africa – Nigeria (ISSAN) Cybersecurity Roundtable with the theme: Re-Thinking Corporate Governance Rules on Money Transfers held in Lagos, ISSAN President, David Isiavwe, stated the need for industry operators, law enforcement agencies and financial sector regulators to ensure they are steps ahead of the activities of cybercriminals.
According to him, “the cybersecurity space is constantly evolving. As the cybercriminals do not sleep or relent, operators and regulators have a duty to not also sleep. Indeed, the protection of the cyberspace is the responsibility of all stakeholders…”
“The increasing deployment of technology to optimize and ease financial transactions has not only revolutionized the payment space, but it has also broadened the attack surface for cybercrime. Thus, it has only become necessary that guidelines and principles that provide safety to these systems are continuously adopted locally and internationally as cyber-attacks are no more a matter of “if” but “when” they will occur.” He stated.
Isiavwe who is also the Chief Compliance Officer of Ecobank Nigeria, noted that FinTechs have a critical role to play in the future of financial services, noting that the more they innovate, the more they need to automate the attendant controls and ensure that they are strictly monitored.
The stakeholders also agreed that there was also the urgent need to create effective blacklists of criminals in the financial sector so that when they have committed any infraction anywhere within the industry, they should be blacklisted industry wide.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Director, Payment System Management, Musa Jimoh, lauded the efforts of ISSAN in promoting a safer cyber space for financial transactions in the county, stressing that it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure a robust payment ecosystem and a sound regulatory regime as the apex bank cannot do it alone. He further emphasized that banks and FinTechs should put adequate measures in place to protect their customers, stressing that it was the only way to embrace and trust the payment system.
“The banks should know the identity of the entity that is conducting transactions. Banks should invest and strengthen their KYC. They should monitor transactions and put adequate measures in place to trigger suspicious transactions They should continue to educate their customers and create more awareness. Consumer protection is dear to CBN. It is the obligation of the banks to protect customers who are vulnerable. Banks and FinTech’s should exhibit good market conduct to earn the trust of their customers.” he said.