CBN Backs Cybersafe Foundation, CCISONFI As Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign Gains Steam

… Launches NoGoFallMaga Campaign

Following the increase in digital and cyber activities, especially in the financial sector, it is expected that activities of cybercriminal will also increase as technologies evolve. To this end, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has backed the partnership between Cybersafe Foundation and the Committee of Chief Information Security Officers of the Nigeria Financial Industry (CCISONFI) to put structures in place in a bid to create awareness of cybersecurity among Nigerians.

Speaking at a Media Parley to flag off the campaign, Executive Director of Cybersafe Foundation, Confidence Staveley acknowledged the changing tide in cybercrime and the need for awareness: “With Social engineering being the method of choice by cybercriminals to perpetuate electronic fraud in the country, efforts to educate customers of financial institutions on cyber hygiene best practices, especially the most vulnerable, must be stepped up.”

She noted that the launch of the new campaign, NoGoFallMaga, in partnership with CCISONFI will enable them join forces to reach the 40million Nigerians who currently access financial services across the country, raising mass cybersecurity awareness and consequently reducing the success rate of cyberfraud attacks against customers.

In his speech at the launch, Director of Banking Supervision at the CBN, Haruna Mustafa noted that cyberattacks are major threat to financial system stability, not only through their impact on one institution, but also through their impact on multiple components of the financial system.

According to him: “The development of robust mechanisms to ensure that financial institutions have in place the necessary safeguards to protect against loss of data, fraud and cyber incursions in their respective systems was part of the Governor of Central Bank’s 5-year  policy thrust 2019-2024.

Mustafa, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Banking Supervision, Adedeji Adetona Sikiru, disclosed that the CBN has taken some measures to improve cyber-resilience of supervised institutions including the issuance of the CBN Risk-Based Cybersecurity Framework and Guidelines for Deposit Money Banks in 2018, but that the campaign to also reach customers will help achieve the aim of curbing cyberfraud.

“Despite the significant investment by the CBN, banks, Fintechs and other industry players to thwart the success rate of cyber-attacks, the human element remain a weak link. Cybersecurity awareness is a key in mitigating cyber-risk, and the CBN is ready to partner with industry stakeholders to sustain efforts at educating staff and customers on fraud information and cybersecurity hygiene practices.”

In his response, CCISONFI Chairman, Abumere Igboa explained, “This initiative looks at tackling cybercrime that poses a threat to customers & the Nigeria citizenry in conducting reliable and safe financial services. As Chief Information Security Officers, we have also witnessed an increased adoption of digital/technology platforms post the Covid-19 pandemic crisis by our different financial institutions for delivering innovative financial solutions, expanding its operations, and being able to reach both existing and potential customers.

He said the campaign will help in “successful achievement of our target objectives which include reaching more than 40million customers in the first two years of its launch and finally delivering awareness contents and messages in major Nigerian languages including pidgin English.”

Staveley called on the media to play a proactive role in the campaign. “Talking about the media, your importance in shaping society cannot be over emphasized, we acknowledge this huge role you play and that is why a meeting with you is the first activity on our agenda. Simply put, we need you. We need you to come with us on this journey and work closely with us in fighting the monster called Cyberfraud. Just like you helped the Health sector fight ebola and you are currently helping with fighting misinformation around COVID, we need you to work passionately with us to fight this problem that is threatening digital innovation around financial services.”

CyberSafe Foundation is Nigeria’s foremost non-Governmental organization in the information security domain, on a mission to facilitate pockets of changes human capacity and behavioural changes that ensure inclusive and safe digital access in Nigeria. the Foundation’s Flagship initiative #NoGoFallMaga, also adopted as the name for this cross-financial industry cyber awareness campaign, is a national movement of young people, working to combat preventable digital fraud with consumer-centred sensitization and education. Digital fraud in this context includes, email deception, phone-based scams, online fraud – particularly where cybercriminals impersonate trusted organizations. We leverage fun experiences and content, to catalyse the decline of cyber-related fraud, one trickle of knowledge at a time.

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