EFCC asks banks to strengthen se­cu­rity on e-chan­nels

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Sun­day Michael Ogwu, IIorin

The Eco­nomic and Financial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC) has called for banks to strengthen their e-plat­forms to pro­tect cus­tomers’ trans­ac­tions.

The com­mis­sion said the en­act­ment of the Cy­ber­crime Act will as­sist in mon­i­tor­ing elec­tronic trans­ac­tions and in­ves­ti­gate real and pos­si­ble cy­ber at­tack, as is done in coun­tries like the United King­dom.

The EFCC made the rec­om­men­da­tion yes­ter­day through Ibrahim Shaz­ali of its Bank Fraud Sec­tion at a pre­sen­ta­tion at the on­go­ing Nige­rian De­posit In­sur­ance Cor­po­ra­tion (NDIC) work­shop for financial cor­re­spon­dents in Ilorin, Kwara State.

Shaz­ali said the lack of a well-de­fined le­gal con­text for prose­cut­ing cy­ber­crime and financial fraud re­lated to elec­tronic plat­form re­sulted in a piti­ful ap­pre­hen­sion suc­cess rate in 2014. Of the 1,461 sus­pected cases, only 41 (3 per cent) were ap­pre­hended. He noted that cy­ber­crime is not merely a tech­no­log­i­cal is­sue, but is at the heart of it, which he main­tained can only be suc­cess­fully min­i­mized by the care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion of the cur­rent elec­tronic trans­ac­tion process, su­per­vi­sion, aware­ness dis­sem­i­na­tion and del­e­ga­tion.

Shaz­ali also de­cried the fact that Nige­ria lags on un­der­stand­ing the role and ne­ces­sity of foren­sic au­dit­ing. He cited a 2012 study which re­vealed lit­tle or no aware­ness on foren­sic ac­count­ing among un­der­grad­u­ates due to its lack of sig­nif­i­cance in or com­plete omis­sion from the cur­ric­ula of Nige­rian aca­demic and pro­fes­sional ac­count­ing bod­ies. “As a re­sult of th­ese lais­sez-faire at­ti­tude, our banks and by ex­ten­sion, our econ­omy, re­main an un­guarded tar­get for in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal ad­ver­saries who are tak­ing ad­van­tage of this loop­hole” he added.

In 2014, the Nige­ria In­ter­bank Set­tle­ment Sys­tem (NIBSS) re­ported that elec­tronic chan­nels and mobile bank­ing were the ma­jor av­enues by which cy­ber crim­i­nals op­er­ated, with losses from fraud­u­lent at­tempts grow­ing from N485 mil­lion in 2013 to N6.2 bil­lion in 2014, a 1,178 per cent in­crease.

Shaz­ali pointed out the many dire con­se­quences of elec­tronic crimes to the econ­omy and the bank­ing industry to in­clude dis­rup­tion of busi­ness process, re­duc­tion in share prices, loss of rep­u­ta­tion and lack of trust.

While call­ing for col­lab­o­ra­tion and con­sol­i­da­tion of in­for­ma­tion among law en­force­ment agen­cies, he can­vassed in­vest­ment in in­creased pre­emp­tive mon­i­tor­ing and in­ves­ti­ga­tion of elec­tronic trans­ac­tion through more so­phis­ti­cated means of ac­count­ing.

Ibrahim Lamorde, EFCC Chair­man

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