‘Cyber security remains top priority for financial institutions’

Mrs. Mansa Nettey

The Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Mrs. Mansa Nettey has said cybersecurity remains top priority for financial institutions; adding that the Ministry of Communications’ cyber security awareness month is a step in the right direction to combating cybercrime.

Mrs. Nettey speaking at last week’s Cyber Security Forum for the financial sector organized by the Ministry of Communications said: “Organizations must be willing to invest heavily in resources to combat cybercrime. Additionally, financial institutions could reduce cyber risks by putting in place appropriate corporate governance and compliance procedures.

These will include regular monitoring of technology systems and networks, employee training in cyber risks, and the maintenance of a functioning business continuity plan,” Mrs. Nettey stated.

According to the Standard Chartered CEO, financial institutions must institute an ongoing and open channel of communication with regulators, on how to approach threats and, to provide feedback where applicable.

“At the same time, compliance and in-house legal teams need to continually engage with the broader business about their obligations. All these factors will play a critical role to the safety of the Financial Services sector of the economy,” she added.

Best practices

Earlier this year, Standard Chartered organized its maiden Cyber Security Summit aimed at sharing best practices in combating cybercrime and enhancing cyber security for digital financial services.

Mrs. Nettey intimated that Standard Chartered has “initiated various strategic actions to keep our clients and the bank cyber safe and reiterated the need for financial institutions to collaborate in the fight against cybercrime.

“This is one area where we cannot afford to be competing with each other. As an industry, we can protect ourselves from the threat of cybercrime by engaging with each other, sharing information and best practices and collaborating more”. That is why we chose to partner the Ministry of Communications for initiatives such as the National Cyber Security Awareness Month,” she added.

Speaking as a panel member, Sheikh Jobe, Chief Information Officer, Ghana & West Africa at Standard Chartered said: “At Standard Chartered, cyber security is not the preserve of the Information Technology team. It is a shared responsibility and every single staff is fully aware of the threats and obligations to ensure a safe and secure operating environment.

I believe every firm that is serious about protecting its staff and clients should adopt this broad strategy including a sound cyber culture. That way, we all in a collective effort will win the war on cyber crime.”

Periodic review of cyber security directives

Last week, the Bank of Ghana unveiled the Cyber & Information Security Directive for the Financial Industry and formally opened its security operations center.

According to the central bank, these initiatives are aimed at ensuring basic standards in cyber security for financial institutions as hitherto, individual organisations had to find their own solutions to cyber threats without any governing directive.

While applauding the BoG’s Cyber and Information Security Directive, Mr. Jobe suggested that there should be at least an annual review of this directive as cyber threats are fluid and are becoming increasingly advanced and sophisticated.

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