• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Stakeholders Advocate For An Integrated Identity System In Fight Against Cybercrime

(L-R) Dr Bode Oguntoke, Head, Internal Audit FBN Holdings Plc; Mr Olaoluwa Awojoodu, CEO, E-Settlement Ltd; Dr David Isiavwe, President of Information Security Society of Africa – Nigeria (ISSAN) and Chief Compliance Officer of Ecobank Nigeria; Mr Musa Jimoh, Director, Payment System Management, CBN; Ron Raffensperger, CTO Digital Transformation, Huawei; Olusola Odediran, Chief Information Security Officer, NIBSS Plc during the ISSAN Cybersecurity Roundtable 2023 on Rethinking Corporate Governance Rules on Money Transfers in Lagos.

Stakeholders in the Nigerian cybersecurity space have made a compelling case for the implementation of an Integrated Identity Management System, referred to as “The Nigerian Identity.” This proposed system aims to unify international passports, phone numbers, and Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) into a single interconnected file. The objective is to enhance the detection and tracking of cybercrime perpetrators more effectively.

These recommendations were put forward during the Information Security Society of Africa – Nigeria (ISSAN) Cybersecurity Roundtable, which revolved around the theme “Re-Thinking Corporate Governance Rules on Money Transfers.” The event brought together a wide array of stakeholders, including representatives from Deposit Money Banks, FinTech companies, regulatory bodies like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), cybersecurity organizations, and law enforcement agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Key highlights from the roundtable discussions included the urgent need to establish blacklists of criminals within the financial sector to deter industry-wide misconduct. Participants emphasized the crucial role of human factors in cybercrime and called for a meticulous approach to staff recruitment and customer onboarding processes.

Moreover, there was a strong recommendation for enhanced compliance with Tier 1 account transaction limits and the enforcement of existing regulations by industry operators. Stakeholders also urged a more robust regulatory focus on FinTech companies, particularly concerning Tier 1 account limits.

The roundtable attendees encouraged the creation of incentives for whistleblowers and the imposition of penalties for providing false information. To prevent fraudulent activities, they advocated for the generation of a connectivity graph for each email provided during account opening as a red flag. Additionally, they urged authorities to address the often slow response to investigating funds transferred to the wrong accounts and the development of a more comprehensive regulatory and legal framework for money transfers, including ethical guidelines.

Stakeholders called on banks to prioritize customer trust, improve data protection, promote financial literacy, and enhance the security of their Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

In his keynote address, the Director of Payment System Management at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Musa Jimoh, commended ISSAN for its efforts in ensuring a secure cyber environment for financial transactions. He emphasized the shared responsibility among stakeholders in building a robust payment ecosystem and a sound regulatory framework.

Jimoh underscored the importance of banks identifying transaction entities, investing in strong Know Your Customer (KYC) processes, monitoring transactions, and implementing measures to detect suspicious activities. He also highlighted the obligation of banks and FinTech companies to protect vulnerable customers and foster trust in the payment system.

Dr. David Isiavwe, the President of ISSAN, reiterated the need for all stakeholders, including industry operators, law enforcement agencies, and financial sector regulators, to stay ahead of cybercriminal activities. He emphasized the constantly evolving nature of the cybersecurity space and the critical role that innovative technology plays in financial services.

ISSAN, a non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding Nigeria’s cyberspace, actively contributes to the security of banking systems and provides a platform for information exchange and collaboration to ensure a safer payment ecosystem.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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