Standard Chartered Bank Uganda in partnership with Uganda Bankers’ Association (UBA) on Wednesday spearheaded industry discussions on Information and Cyber Security (ICS) as a principal risk arising from the digital and technology revolution that aims at boosting service delivery to clients of banks.
The session held at Golden Tulip Hotel in Kampala was attended by local banks’ heads of operations, heads of information technology, and heads of compliance, heads of risk management and audit departments as well as the media.
The session also attended by government representatives was held to make banking industry players understand the global and local trends in ICS, discuss the emerging regulations and learn how to build a Cyber Secure culture within the local banking industry which of recent has seen rising cases hacking into ATMs and banks’ systems, with hundreds of millions of shillings lost.
Speaking to participants at half-day session, Standard Chartered Uganda CEO, Albert Saltson, said his institution takes ICS as a key risk and has put in place dedicated initiatives to identify, respond to and protect the bank from the Cyber security risks.
Saltson said Cybercrime w is a growing threat to everyone and corporations and they have created dedicated forums and resources to discuss the ICS risk and find ways to mitigate it.
“We have taken this step to spearhead industry discussions in partnership with Uganda Bankers’ Association and other stakeholders on this important topic as part of our commitment to share our knowledge, expertise and best practice within the Ugandan market,” he said.
He said Stanbic Bank Uganda team have the advantage of learnings from the bank’s network and believes adds value to the Uganda Banking sector. “We will continue to premise our services proposition to our clients on the provision of high-quality service to remain trusted and reliable business partners to them.
He said they would continue to study and …understand the local operating environment, manage any emerging risks and support the sector.
UBA CEO Wilbrod Owor, while addressing participants, said investment in digital solutions comes with risks associated with electronic connections to clients and others. “ICS risks have never been greater and the consequences of failure more impactful for our clients and our firms. We are therefore pleased to partner with Standards Chartered Bank to share knowledge and experience of Information and Cyber Security with us,” he said.
Owor said over 90 per cent of Ugandans are Cyber insecure, which he said calls for information sharing to combat Cybercrime, which he said is growing in complexity.
“I appeal to financial services sector to understand the risk environment, be security cautious and vigilant around cyber risk events,” he said.
John Jonathan Kwofie, Regional Head Business ICS at Standard Chartered Bank said emerging ICS threats present themselves in different ways such as: Denial-of-service attacks, data espionage, natural threats, sabotage, computer frauds, malicious attacks, message falsification or injection, vandalism and copyright violations, among others.
“It is also envisaged that as technologies advance, a resultant proliferation of cyber threats will be witnessed. The recent ATM frauds and system hacking attacks that we have witnessed in the Ugandan market are a clear indication that Cyber risk is already here with us so we nee3d to move ahead of the culprits.
Leah Kimata, the Country ICS Officer at Standard Charted Bank Kenya said the annual cost of cybercrime damage is estimated at US $6 trillion by 2021 and beyond. “I therefore appeal to all stakeholders including, government, financial and non-financial institution and other organisations to strategically plan and implement structures and technologies to help in combating cyber threats,” she said, urging banks to build a security culture conscious amounts their staff and that the role of security cannot be left to concerned heads of department.
Head of Legal and Compliance department at National Information Technology Authority (NITA), Caroline Akello Mugisha, said Cybercrime is real in Uganda and urged banks and other institutions to read and understand related laws and policies such as the Computer Misuse Act, 2011, National Information Security Framework, though he said penalties in Computer Misuse Act are not deterrent enough.
Edward Mugerwa, Bank of Uganda IT Director said Cybercrime in Uganda needs collaboration amongst stakeholders at the bank together with UBA are working to have a Security Operations Centre (SOC) where banks can share information related to cyber-attacks.
Dr. Dorothy Okello, a member of Standard Chartered Bank Uganda board of directors appreciated the bank and UBA for coming with the imitative to fight cyber threats within the banking industry.
Standard Chartered Bank has organised stakeholder engagements from January 20-23, 2020 for regulators, the industry, clients and senior management.