Bank of Ghana (BoG) has launched a cyber security policy for financial institutions across the country.
It seeks to ensure a safe digital financial industry in the wake of increase in cyber crimes in the global financial industry.
It also seeks to ensure uninterrupted financial intermediation through a robust and resilient financial sector and also boost the confidence of consumers in the banking industry.
Under the new directive, all banks in Ghana are required to appoint a Cyber and Information Security Officer (CISO), who would advise senior management and the board on cyber security issues and also formulate adequate measures to manage cyber information and security risks.
A key component of the measures to be deployed by the CISO is the education of all stakeholders.
Speaking at the launch at the Central Bank’s head office on Monday in Accra, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari said “the bank chose the theme, “A Safer Digital Financial Industry” to launch the Cyber Security Directive for two main reasons.”
He added that “first, we envisage that this theme will shape the strategic direction in terms of cyber security of the banking industry, and to the large extent the entire financial sector. And secondly, it signals the collective efforts of stakeholders to address the canker of cyber threat and all other actions that exploit vulnerabilities of the financial systems and processes.”
Currently, he said, technology is intertwined with the everyday lives of humanity, saying “it’s redefining business processes, promoting greater interconnectedness between countries, peoples, enhancing skill development and innovation and more broadly, breaking down perceived barriers in every sector.”
In the banking sector, according to him, technology has taken center stage in the financial intermediation process.
“Recently, key developments within the intermediation process include the growing importance of FinTechs in delivering financial services, as well as the introduction of electronic payment platforms to enhance interoperability. In effect, the continuous role played by technology has had considerable impact on the operations of financial institutions and ultimately driven policies aimed at promoting financial inclusiveness for growth and poverty reduction.”
The idea is to position the sector as a major driver to support an inclusive broad-based economy with the full implementation of new high minimum capital requirements by the end of this year, according to the first deputy governor.
He said as the bank pursues the above-mentioned objective, alongside strengthening the regulatory and supervisory environment to restore confidence and promote stability and integrity of the banking sector, it was important that it also took concrete steps towards implementing cyber security measures to combat financial crime.
“Through the bank’s monitoring systems, we have observed the daily attempts by cyber criminals to bypass security controls and exploit vulnerabilities within the cyber and information security defenses of financial systems,” he disclosed.
He added that “we cannot ignore the fact that the increasing use of technology with its attendant interconnectedness has enabled some of these challenges.
According to him, the Bank of Ghana took steps to counter the threats of cyber crimes in the financial industry to ensure the integrity and operational security of the financial system in the country.
“It’s in this regard that the Bank of Ghana has developed the Cyber Security Directive for financial institutions,” he said.
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