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Amid $12bn loss to cyberattacks, financial stakeholders decry rising threats

Experts in the financial ecosystem have called for innovative solutions to check the increasing threats of cyberattacks in order to improve confidence in bank transactions.…

Experts in the financial ecosystem have called for innovative solutions to check the increasing threats of cyberattacks in order to improve confidence in bank transactions.

The experts spoke at the 2024 Quarter II Industry Forum organised by the Committee of E-Business Industry Heads (CeBIH) with the theme: “Cybercrime: Enhancing Consumer Trust and Security with Artificial Intelligence”.

Daily Trust reports that there has been a raging concern over increasing spate of cyberattacks on financial institutions as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that $12bn was lost in 20 years.

Also, N10bn was lost by Nigerian banks in the first quarter of 2023, according to Mastercard Foundation.

Speaking at the forum, the General Manager of the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), Afolabi Solebo Solebo, highlighted the increasing sophistication of cyber threats and called for innovative solutions to protect and enhance consumers’ confidence in bank transactions.

He noted the growing concerns surrounding cybercrime and emphasised the critical role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in enhancing consumer trust, particularly in the realm of digital banking.

He said, “Cybercrime is evolving at an unprecedented rate, posing significant risks to consumers, especially in the digital banking sector. To effectively combat these threats, we must leverage advanced technologies like AI to safeguard consumer interests.”

Solebo stressed the importance of transparency and education in building consumer confidence in AI-driven security solutions. “Consumers need to understand how AI works to protect their data. This involves clear communication from financial institutions about the benefits and safeguards associated with AI technologies.

“By demystifying AI and demonstrating its effectiveness, we can foster a higher level of trust among users. This proactive approach is essential for maintaining the integrity of digital banking services and ensuring consumer trust.”

Solebo also called for increased collaboration between financial institutions, technology providers and regulatory bodies to create a robust cybersecurity framework, noting that they must work together to develop and implement standards that ensure the safe and ethical use of AI in digital banking.

The Chairman, Committee of E-Business Industry Heads (CeBIH), Mrs Celestina Appeal, said the forum was constituted to bring together the upper echelon of electronic industry practitioners in all Nigerian banks and stakeholders alike to discuss crucial topics relating to the industry to provide safety in the digital payment system for consumers both online and physical.

Mrs Celestina noted that the increasing rate of cybercrime could be life-threatening, saying it cuts across all through phishing, data breaches, ransomware, identity theft, among others, hence the need for all parties concerned to come together towards ensuring that the integrity of the financial space is protected by leveraging on tools available.

In his presentation, Mr Obi Ebuka, the Chief Executive Officer of Autogon AI stated that AI could revolutionise cyber security practices, offering real-time threat detection and adaptive security measures that traditional methods could not match.

He said, “AI-driven systems can analyse vast amounts of data quickly, identifying unusual patterns and potential threats before they can cause harm.”


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