IMPACT OF CYBER CRIME ON OUR CUSTOMERS by Annette Musabi

06 May 21 | Published by Ruth Magona

Webinar Understanding Cybersecurity Risk – Post Covid 19 – Africa

 

The internet has made the world today a global stage or better yet a global village. It has become so easy to transact or communicate with anyone in any part of the world. The way businesses operate today has greatly changed due to the developments we see today in the area of technology. It has become relatively easy for one to scale their businesses and even cover other countries.

The COVID 19 Pandemic has had huge ramifications on how business is done today. Due to the stringent government measures to ensure social distancing organizations have been forced to adopt the work from home policy. Financial institutions have not been exempted and this has posed a lot of challenges as far as customer service is concerned.

All if not most transactions are now paperless due to the infectious nature of the disease. Organizations that had not fully digitized their processes have been forced to do so to be able to still serve their clients.

In lieu of this the cyber crime rate has greatly increased with so many reported cases of customers losing money to fraudsters. While they target the entire population, the people who have been hugely affected are the elderly people who are usually very trusting. 

ARMC in partnership with School of Pension and Retirement Studies Ltd recently held a wonderful webinar touching on the impact of cyber crime on our customers. It was quite evident from the webinar that a lot of institutions are not safe from cyber attacks.

The criminal today is not the one who will walk into the banking hall or your organization wielding a machine gun and ordering everyone to lie down while designated people are asked to fill the big bags with money. Today crime has changed and become highly technical and it will take experts in the field of cyber crime to unravel what happened.

Billions of dollars/Kshs is lost or will be lost if organizations  do not proactively look for ways to position their institutions against such crimes. The crime is highly organized and it becomes exceedingly difficult to track the perpetrators. This is due to the fact that the criminals could be in another country which is out of the jurisdiction of the local police making it a slow process as the local police have to liaise with Interpol to try and catch the criminals and this may take a long time and the criminals will be long gone.

How can one ensure that their organizations put in some safety measures? Brian Diley from Lloyd’s banks gave us three key areas we need to consider as institutions and they are:

i. Prevention is better than detection: Proactively source for ways to ensure that your systems are protected from any hacks and one of the ways one can use this is by installing DMARC (for more information on DMARC please get in touch with ARMC and they will be happy to help).

ii. Training and education is the silent tool: it has become exceedingly necessary to continuously train your staff on the latest crime designs and technologies being used to carry out cyber-crime. Trained personnel are equal to trained customers as the staff will be in a position to disseminate the information to the clients especially the elderly demography. The criminals are using highly sophisticated software it therefore necessary to ensure that the staff are equally equipped to stop them, remember prevention is better than cure.

iii. Information sharing and collaboration is key: it is very important for banks especially to collaborate with each other especially when confirming huge transfers to help stop the crime in good time. It is important for all financial institutions especially, to put mechanisms in place to enable smooth, quick and effective information sharing within and across different banks.

Good news is that we have GCA in places who are globally available to be of help to countries as well as financial institutions and provide solutions that will see themselves rated as among the safest organizations to do business with. We believe that this will have a huge impact on your profitability and brand perception.

Finally, the form which cybercriminals, thieves and swindlers act has changed but their objectives remains the same, just their methods of operations now includes actively using the internet.

(For more information on how GCA can be of help please get in touch with ARMC info@africariskmanagers.com  or go to our Linked-In page).