Standard Chartered Bank Ghana has organised a Cyber Security Summit in Accra. The summit, which took place at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, engaged top stakeholders in the banking and security sectors.
Technologies such as big data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), the blockchain, and mobile computing are reinventing the way companies, especially those in the financial and banking sectors handle everything, from decision making to customer service. The automation of virtually all business processes and the increasing digital connectedness of the entire value chain create agility, but they also significantly raise cybersecurity risks and threat levels.
The 3-hour event saw an educative and insightful panel discussion on cybersecurity issues at the government, institutional and end-user level which a focus on how to prevent and tackle the threats.
In attendance were representatives of the Police and telecommunications networks, as well as key stakeholders in the financial and security sectors of the country. Also invited and in attendance were students of the University of Ghana Business School and Ashesi University students.
The panel discussion was moderated by Bernard Avle. Panelists for the day were:
- Alex Bram, Co-Founder at HubTel Ghana,
- Prof. Nii Narku Quaynor, a scientist, and an engineer who has played an important role in the introduction and development of the Internet throughout Africa,
- Sheikh Jobe, Chief Information Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, West Africa,
- Hon. Vincent Sowah Odotei, Deputy Minister of Communication, and
- Archie Hesse CEO of GhIPSS
— Mfidie.com (@mfidieHQ) March 21, 2018
Professor Nii Narku Quaynor confessed that “Globally, we do not know how to create systems that are bug-free”. Therefore, there was the need to raise awareness of cyber crimes and put risk mitigation plans in place at the various level of application usage and management.
Alex Bram of HubTel put forward that the first Cyber threat always comes from within an organisation. It was therefore imperative that when fighting against Cyber threats, start from within.
The Deputy Minister of Communication, Hon. Vincent Sowah Odotei expressed Government’s commitment to fighting cybercrime and stressed on the fact that the government takes such threats seriously. According to him, the Government has put a lot in place to ensure that there is Cyber Security.
"As a government, we don't downplay the threats in our cyber space"
Hon. Vincent Sowah Odotei#SCBDigiCySec18
— BloggingGhana (@BloggingGhana) March 21, 2018
Perhaps the biggest revelation and probably the most satisfying for a lot of the people in attendance and those who watched the live stream on Facebook was the revelation by Michael Mensah, the Head of ICT at the Bank of Ghana (BoG). In his speech, he said that the Bank of Ghana will soon require financial institutions in the country to publish their cybersecurity policies.
Mr Mensah further hinted that a bill is expected to be passed by parliament soon and this will ultimately will help banks to “achieve both business and security-focused objectives as well as regulatory compliance in an efficient and effective way.”
At the end of the summit, one thing was clear – there was the need to tackle cyber threats collectively, and as such all players in the cybersecurity space needs to come together to create viable solutions. Like Archie Hesse, the CEO of GhIPPS rightly put it: “Coming together to work on Cyber Security for the industry is something we should aim for.”
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