Cybersecurity expert, Dr. David Isiavwe says despite the gains of the cashless policy in Nigeria, implementation is challenged due to inadequate critical infrastructure to support electronic payment systems, particularly in rural areas. Dr. Isiavwe, who is the President, Information Security Society of Africa, Nigeria (ISSAN), and General Manager and Chief Compliance Officer, Ecobank Nigeria Ltd affirmed that though the rise of online financial transactions has brought significant benefits in terms of convenience, speed, and accessibility, there is substantial cybersecurity risks that cannot be ignored, as Cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in online financial transactions.
“The consequences of a successful cyberattack can be severe. The cashless policy has made it easier, faster, and more convenient for people to make payments, transfer money and generally engage in commerce across the globe; however, this technological advancement has also led to an increase in cyber threats, such as ransomware attacks, identity theft, data breaches, and phishing attacks. Stakeholders, including financial institutions, technology providers, regulators, and users must invest more in infrastructure and also adopt best practices, such as strong authentication mechanisms, encryption, regular system updates, user education and awareness, robust security protocols, compliance with regulatory standards, regular security assessments, and incident response plans, to help enhance cybersecurity in online financial transactions.” He stated.
Dr. Isiavwe, who was the Speaker at University of Benin, Faculty of Management Sciences 1st colloquium, 2023, described cybersecurity as an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and improvement, urging stakeholders to remain vigilant and proactive in their approach by adopting best practices and collaborating with industry stakeholders to mitigate the risks and ensure a secure and trustworthy financial ecosystem for all. Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Prof. Lilian Salami in her keynote address explained that the colloquium was part of the school’s agenda to engage from time to time in town and gown interaction towards the objective of meeting the needs of the host community. She stated that the topic is very apt and timely because Nigeria is currently experiencing currency swap and cashless policy with their attendant consequences such as currency crunch and scarcity, adding that despite the fact that the online financial transaction system is beneficial in terms of ease of doing business, convenience, timeliness, it has its own challenges.
Prof. Salami further said “Today, we have the privilege of having one of our proudly Uniben alumni in person of Dr. David Isiavwe as our Guest Lecturer. I have no doubt that he would be able to do justice to this colloquium topic and educate the audience as well as the members of the public as to the precautions to take so that we do not become vulnerable to diverse series of cyber-attacks as we engage in diverse online financial transactions in this period of cashless policy and beyond.”