Banks lose N40b to internet fraud, says CBN

cbn-q419 June 2014, Lagos – Money deposit banks (MDBs) in Nigeria lost a total of N40 billion to internet fraudsters last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.

Speaking, Wednesday at the National Cyber Security Forum (NCSF 2014) organised by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in Lagos, its  Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Taiwo Longe lamented that the financial cost of cybercrimes to the world is about $288billion which far exceeds that of illicit drugs.

According to him, the criminal elements perpetrate their trade using web phishing, network intrusion, emails and others, adding that every organisation must have a security blueprint in place which it will use to manage its security. He added that there is need for proper information security management to reduce ‘vulnerability and risk’ of attack.

“Information security assurance is the process of protecting and defending information by ensuring its confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA),” he said, adding that COBIT, FISMA, NIST, NIPAA and PCI are some of the initiatives that have helped boost security of transaction.

He said with the growing threat of cybercriminals, the need for policy framework to address the menace has become more imperative now than ever before. He added that awareness is another key element in driving the process of fighting cybercrimes because people must be aware of the potential risk they face so that they could take precautionary measures.

Longe urged MDBs not to rest on their oars because the criminal elements are always ahead of them in the game.

He said the CBN has put in place what he called ‘Defence Indepth’ consisting people, process and technology, stressing that the measure secures information at multiple levels.

Speaking on the occasion, Managing Director, Teledon Group, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem warned that banks, telcos, cards, aviation industry and even the military could fall victim of cybercriminals who could hack into their servers and compromise their data.

He said the cyber space is now as important as the physical space, adding that government should expedite action on the passage into law of the cybercrimes bills pending before the National Assembly.

According to Ekuwem, Nigeria’s territorial integrity is no longer limited to its sea and land borders but its cyberspace. He urged the Federal Government to appoint someone to head the cyber security department just as there are people heading all the armed forces of the federation.

He said cyber security threat arising from the digitalisation process of the National broadcasting Commission (NBC) is real and called on the political class to muster the political will to address the problem once and for all.


– The Nation

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