Emnet Assefa

A conference stressed on the need for a strong legislative on cyber security for banks. Acontinent-wide conference, ‘Ethiopia Banking and ICT summit 2013’ that brought together banking and ICT experts from the region discussed on issues affecting these two segments of the economy on August 2, 2013.

Organized by Cyber Security Africa, a UK- based IT security solutions provider, the conference discussed on the need for a stronger cyber security regulations in the banking sector in the continent in general and in Ethiopia in specific.

Gezahegn Dugassa Leta, Director of Banking Products and Technology Innovation at Awash International Bank says that most local banks fail to have organized information security department even if the National bank sets it as a requirement for local banks to run their banking business.

“Banks are investing a lot on security solutions geared to the physical box but as much as we need them people are the weakest link and most of the treats coming from inside are attributed to lack of information security policy that addresses this critical component” he said.

According to him, people, process and technology need to combine in order to solve the problem but less attention is being given in most local banks yet a strong national legislation that seeks banks to put in place both the physical and human security establishments.

“Cyber security is something we must work on in full force as the crime is very dynamic to cope with,” says Luck Mulunda, Operations and Communications Manager at Cyber Security Africa who also indicates that a continental approach needs to be taken in order to manage the problem.

According to him, the banking sector is a very vulnerable sector for cyber-crimes so countries need to have strong legislations in place to be free of cyber-attack treats. “Countries like Ethiopia whose banking and ICT sectors are growing along with the fast economic growth, cyber security is a key issue,” he says.

He also indicates that Ethiopia’s “committed” investment in ICT accounts for 10 percent of overall GDP, and the government has invested over $14 billion in this sector for over the last decade and such huge investments require banks to understand the opportunities, risks and Security challenges in ICT services and products as they are the biggest consumers of technology.

The one day conference that brought together a number of cyber security product and service providers such as IBM, Kaspersky, Oracle, NCR among others including Ethio-Telecom was held under the theme “harnessing Africa’s Digital future”.

Photo: 251 communication

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