With the global cost of cybercrime estimated at over $600 billion in 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said it would strengthen its regulatory framework to check cybercrimes on Nigeria’s financial system.
Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability of the CBN Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, made this disclosure during a cyber security conference in Abuja.
She stated that “whilst a variety of organisations are exposed to cybercrime, the financial sector is particularly vulnerable given its crucial role of financial intermediation in a highly connected global financial system.”
According to her, while technology is transforming the way financial transactions are being conducted, she lamented that “the adoption of innovation such as robotics and artificial intelligence and block chains have potentials to disrupt the process.”
This development, she said. has necessitated the need to further strengthen regulatory framework because of the “attractiveness of globalisation, interconnectivity and financial innovation are being undermined by incidences of cybercrimes.”
She said the CBN was aware of these threats and has convened the conference to tackle these threats.
She noted that these series of cybercrimes “have ushered in complex security challenges some of which range from identity and intellectual property theft, email spamming, virus dissemination, sophisticated hacking and theft by digital crime syndicate, all of which have led to a significant rise in cybercrimes.”
“At the CBN, we are committed to strengthening the regulatory framework for cyber risk, we are encouraging our regulated institutions to build realistic vulnerability testing systems for contingency planning.” she said.
According to her, “a recent study by the IMF estimated global annual losses from cyber-attacks may be close to nine per cent of banks’ net income or around $100 billion, and in a severe scenario, where the frequency of attacks are twice as high as currently experienced and with greater contagion, losses could be as high as $350 billion.”