Cyber security: CBN puts commercial banks on red alert

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The Central Bank of Nigeria may have placed some commercial banks in the country on a red alert over the possibility of hackers attacking their facilities and undermining their financial integrity.
The banks have also been directed to take compliance and security as their watchword to avoid loss of confidence in the banking system.
Our correspondent gathered from IT experts, who would not want to be named, that many Nigerian banks had very weak Information Technology security, making them vulnerable to avoidable cyber attacks.
The CBN is prepared to impose hard penalties on erring banks, a top official of the apex bank, who asked not to be named, disclosed.
According to findings, the World Bank and allied global financial institutions are mounting pressure on the CBN to “either pull off or further relegate banks considered to be weak, security-wise, especially now that Swift, a global financial messaging provider, appears to have finalised its own decision to do away with such banks.
The pressure from Swift, according to a source, stemmed from the use of sophisticated attacks by terrorists and other global organised criminals, resulting in the loss of huge funds and embarrassment to officials.
An IT expert, Mr. Akindele Gbemisola, said, “We are really concerned about this global development. If it could happen in America or any other developed economy for that matter, it means it could happen here, too. What banks should do henceforth is to upgrade their facilities by employing competent Information Technology experts that are very analytical in their approach. I mean, core IT professionals that can think outside the box. The IT section of any bank should be able to provide the standard maximum security to protect them against attacks.”