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Tips to Enhance Cybersecurity among Banks in Africa

Tips to Enhance Cybersecurity among Banks in Africa

by Trisha Ilarde on and last update on March 29, 2021

The first step in enhancing cybersecurity is to acknowledge that cyber attackers do not rest, especially now that most transactions are online. Africa has recently experienced frequent attacks on cybersecurity, increasing the global risk for information leakage. Those in the financial sector are usually targeted by cyber threats, and today, the probability is higher due to lockdowns and sudden high reliance on digital processes.

Among global firms, only 66% have concrete information security strategies. This puts the remaining firms at risk. There has also been a 13% increase in the number of global firms that have been victims of fraud in 2018. At present, due to the pandemic, most firms have implemented remote work. While this protects the well-being of their constituents, it also birthed numerous information and security risks. In South Africa alone, about 577 malware attacks take place per hour – a debilitating problem for both local and foreign leaders.

The banking, financial services, and insurance sector hold the most sensitive information on the members of the populace, which is why they are the main target of cyber threats. In Africa, cybersecurity threats are continuous, putting not just the private sector at risk, but also the continent as a whole. Banks are frequently targeted, which causes billions of losses due to service disruption and theft.

Here are a few tips on how to enhance cybersecurity and help alleviate the abovementioned issues:

Exploring New Technology

Cyber threats and attacks are mostly motivated by financial gain. If you are looking for a cost-efficient investment, it is time to explore new technology that will help improve your firm’s cybersecurity. Developing banking apps and digitizing consumer’s banking experience is an evolving technology trend, but without robust security measures, such technological advancement is useless. It is time to introduce new technologies to the board and make decisions on a safe and secure platform.

Strengthening Defense

A firm’s security infrastructure determines how easy or hard it is to penetrate through its information systems. To strengthen your defense, look into hiring certified cybersecurity professionals or conduct in-house training among your constituents. Both internal and external networks should be highly secure and comply with international standards. This might cost you a lot at first, but strengthening your defenses against any cybersecurity threat will protect you in the long run.

Implementing Sound Security Governance

While exploring new technology and strengthening your defense against threats and attacks will enhance your cybersecurity, without a sound and effective security governance, your firm will most likely fail. Like any other type of governance, this involves the executive management’s planning and directives. Planning and strategizing governance based on security principles such as confidentiality, integrity, and availability will surely enhance cybersecurity in your firm.

To prevent cyber threats in Africa’s banking sector, three things should be considered such as exploring new technology, strengthening defense, and implementing sound security governance. This will help financial institutions in beefing up overall security measures.

Furthermore, to collaborate efficiently, your board could look into investing in board management software with local support, international security accreditations such as ISO 27001, 27017, 27018, and AICPA SOC 2/3, and robust security features such as Audit Trail, Role-Based Access Controls, Secure User Authentication, and Document Security and Encryption – all of which Convene can readily give you.

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