Nigeria: Uba Moves Against Cybercrime

The United Bank for Africa Plc, has launched a Security Operation Centre in its head office in Lagos as a necessary tool to adequately protect its customers from cybercrime and fraudsters.

Addressing newsmen at the launch of the centre, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UBA, Mr. Philips Oduoza, said the migration of transactions to channels necessitated the need to build a station through which fraudsters can be monitored and combated.

While commending the Central Bank of Nigeria (ABN) for facilitating the migration of transactions to channel based, Oduoza said “as transactions constantly shift from transactions based to channel based, frauds will definitely shift from the physical attack where people are waylaid and their money collected from them, to cyber-attacks and frauds, where unsuspecting customers are defrauded from their money”.

According to him the bank partnered a world class organisation to build a world class security centre, adding that the board and management of the bank take security as a top priority and have invested a lot to this effect. He said: “Not only can our bank customers lose funds from cyber-attacks through a porous channel, but the bank can also lose funds from information theft, as well as lose its reputation, thus a need to protect the bank and its customers.”

“This security operation centre has the capability of protecting UBA customers in Nigeria and in 18 other African countries where we operate and transactions can be monitored real-time.”

Speaking also, the Group Head, IT Risk Mangaement, Mr. Sam Okenye, explained that the security centre would enable the bank monitor all electronic banking activities on its channel.

He said: “The implication of e-channel expansion comes with the increased risk of identity theft, increased risk of e-channel fraud, insider fraud, repudiation by fraudulent minded customers, spread of virus and dangerous malware as well as phishing attacks or cloning websites.”

Okenye explained that the centre would protect the bank and its customers, build confidence of customers and staffs on e-channel services, ensure regulatory compliance, enhance business and product expansion, guard against network and system intrusion, as well as information theft, and ensure system availability.

“The areas of exploit for the centre include the vulnerabilities of web appliance, network gateway, e-mail infrastructure, social engineering technique and weak internal control and processes.

Okenye, noted: “Our vision is to create and sustain a world class IT and e-bisness risk management function that is process based, IT enabled and driven by the highly trained and motivated workforce with a focus on ensuing business continuity and minimising losses.”

By Amaka Eze


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