In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) urgently called on all banks to develop robust systems to avoid cyber security impacts in the financial sector.
Dr. Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, highlighted three major risks uncovered by the COVID-19 pandemic which banks must handle efficiently to prevent unexpected consequences.
Dr Addisson said these risks include cybersecurity, credit and operations.
He spoke at a webinar organized by the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) about banking risk management at uncertain times.
The pandemic has encouraged digital transactions and financial inclusion, Dr. Addison said, but it has also contributed to a growing sense of cyber attacks within the financial sector.
“The use of digital and mobile banking platforms to conduct banking transactions has increased since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is evidenced by peer-to-peer, bank-to-wallet, wallet-to-bank and wallet-to-bank transactions across all platforms.”
He added, “Banks have responded positively to this phenomenon and deployed sophisticated, yet user-friendly digital platforms to enhance the delivery of financial services. This trend is indeed welcome, as it broadly aligns with the overall objective of digitising the Ghanaian economy, and promoting financial inclusion and economic growth.”
He said the drive towards more digitisation “has heightened cyber risks and fraud, and therefore calls for effective cyber risk management policies and procedures by banks.”
He said, “The Bank of Ghana expects all banks to build robust systems to forestall such cybersecurity incidences. All the successes chalked in the digitisation of banking systems would be eroded if adequate investments are not made for effective protection of the information technology and security infrastructure.”
“The central bank has issued directives and guidelines such as the cybersecurity directive that banks must meet on an on-going basis to effectively manage cyber risk and fraud,” he added.
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