Cyber security experts raise alarm over money crimes

SECURITY

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Cyber security experts raise alarm over money crimes

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Money laundering and terrorism financing are currently the two biggest threats facing financial institutions in Africa, according to security experts.

Cyber Security Africa, a UK-based information and e-commerce security provider, says banks and other money-transfer service providers are investing huge sums of money and personnel in countering these crimes but they continue to pose legal and financial challenges to them.

“Firms today understand the need for a company-wide anti-money laundering culture, one that can adapt to the changing external environment,” said Sammy Kioki, the African Alliance Manager for Cyber Security Africa. “People play an important part in that culture. Each member of staff, regardless of position, has a role to play in safeguarding the reputation of the firm and minimising the financial risk caused by money laundering.”

Kioko was speaking on Monday in Nairobi at a press briefing to announce a three-day conference on "Combating Financial Crime in East Africa" to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, on September 26 to 28, at Serena Hotel. 

Global menace

In one of its latest reports released late 2011 the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said criminals may have laundered around USD1.6 trillion in 2009, one fifth of that coming from the illicit drug trade.

According to the report the USD1.6 trillion represents 2.7% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009.

“This figure is in line with the range of two to five per cent of global GDP previously established by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to estimate the scale of money-laundering,” partly reads the UNODC report , entitled Estimating illicit financial flows resulting from drug trafficking and other transnational organized crime.

The report also says that the “interception rate” for anti-money-laundering efforts at the global level remains low.

Koko said financial institutions should ensure their employees have the necessary skills to protect the organisations from these vices. “It is also important to ensure procedures and processes are implemented throughout the organisation, from head office to regional branch,” he said. “Through training, staff can achieve and understanding of the importance of money laundering prevention, the part they play and the best practice. This will be cheaper in the long run than dealing with the repercussions.”

He said the regional conference – organised by Cyber Security Africa and sponsored by technology company IBM, security training firm Eacademy Group and other stakeholders – will provide solutions on countering money laundering and terrorism financing and their related implications on economies and financial systems.

The workshop will include atwo-day training on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing on September 27 and 28, 2012. Some of the key issues to be addressed include, among others, adopting the latest best practices to protect your organisation from fraud, understanding changes in the money service business regulatory landscape to ensure compliance, mastering anti-money laundering audits to meet institutional needs and satisfy regulators.

"We will explore anti-money laundering issues in emerging payment systems, securing your IT infrastructure as well as other key issues like anti-money laundering laws, identifying money-laundering activities, risk management, sanctions risk, politically exposed person risk and the financial action task force,” he said.

According to UNODC Globally, it appears that much less than one per cent of illicit financial flows are currently being seized and frozen.

“Tracking the flows of illicit funds generated by drug trafficking and organized crime and analysing how they are laundered through the world’s financial systems remain daunting tasks,” stated UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov, who launched the report today in Marrakech, Morocco, during the week-long meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Corruption. 



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE SECURITY NEWS

Consumers suffering from ‘digital amnesia’

Kaspersky Lab says growing numbers of consumers struggle to recall memories trusted to connected devices. Read More

Information Security: The biggest barrier to the Internet of Things

Trust is critical for IoT to achieve its potential, especially in terms of its adoption by the mass market, says Gemalto. Read More

Kaspersky Lab, Gabonese Government to Cooperate on IT Security

Kaspersky Lab has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Agency of Digital Infrastructures and Frequencies (ANINF) in Libreville, Gabon.  Read More

The importance of password security

Many users assume their passwords are of no value to cyber criminals, says Kaspersky Lab. Read More

MTN Business expands partnership with Samsung to offer enterprise customers increased security

Samsung Electronics South Africa has announced that MTN Business has been appointed as a reseller of Samsung’s KNOX licenses to its customers.  Read More

Ghanaian to moderate Council of Europe Conference on Cybercrime

A Ghanaian cyber security expert, Albert Antwi-Boasiako, has been selected by the Council of Europe to moderate a session at its Cooperation against Cybercrime - Octopus Conference in Strasbourg, France. Read More

Be on the lookout for new cyber threats, warns Kaspersky

Kaspersky Lab has urged Kenyan companies to put the right security and strategies in place against cybercrime to avid losses and reputational damage.  Read More

Threat of cyberattacks on the rise for African companies

Deloitte says cyber criminals are getting smarter and know no boundaries, so companies in Africa need to raise their preparedness. Read More

Kaspersky Lab, ISA combine efforts to protect critical infrastructure

Kaspersky Lab and the International Society of Automation (ISA) have launched a joint education initiative to raise awareness of industrial automation equipment operators about cyber threats.  Read More

Ransomware: don’t pay the cybercriminals

ESET offers tips on how keep PCs protected and avoid supporting cybercrime activities. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

Batswana dragging feet in digital migration Batswana dragging feet in digital migration

More than a month after the deadline for the digital migration from analogue television, few people have shown any pronounced enthusiasm in entering the new digital TV realm. 

IN DEPTH

As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.

COMPANY NEWS

MTN Business App of the Year submissions closed

Entries for the annual MTN Business App of the Year Awards taking place on 13 August in Johannesburg have closed, and an expert panel of judges that is adjudicating ...