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Opinions of Saturday, 27 October 2018

Columnist: Carl Odame Gyenti

Cyber Security: A collective responsibility for Ghanaian Banks and Telcos

The writer is a Telcom and Finance enthusiast The writer is a Telcom and Finance enthusiast

I had the opportunity to attend the National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2018 forum organized by the Ministry of Communication and the National Cyber Security Centre held at Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre on October 24,2018.

This year’s programme was under the theme ‘A safer Digital Ghana’.

A case study on Nigerian Banks was conducted which revealed that in 2012, Nigerian Banks had to come together to fight cyber security collectively after major acts of fraud were perpetrated against the Banking Industry.

The Panel members for the discussion included Mr. Kenneth Ashigbey of Ghana Chamber of Telecommunication, representatives from Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhiPPS), Private Sector and Bluespace (Fintech).

One thing I learned from the discussion was the the fact that, the financial sector in Ghana is very vulnerable to external shocks. This is so because most financial institutions are not involved in the fight against cyber crime.

However, it was good to know that most of the foreign banks and some few local banks have invested greatly to improve their Information Technology systems.

The general call was for the banks and for that matter mobile money operators ( Telcos) to come together to fight the canker.

I therefore wish to call on the Bank of Ghana, National Association of Bankers and National Communication Authority to intensify their efforts to collectively invest in advanced technical mechanisms that will help fight cyber crime.

For example, if Bank A or Telcos B is under cyber crime attack in whatever form, their counterparts in the sector should be able to prevent subsequent occurrences.

This also becomes necessary particularly when there is high patronage of mobile money services which has seen steady growth over the last few years.

In the coming years, industry watchers have indicated that mobile money will be patronized across jurisdictions and the Africa sub-region. It is therefore important for industry players to collaborate to fight the deadly menace which has the propensity of damaging this potential of the service.