Cyber security experts raise alarm over money crimes
SECURITY| Sept. 3, 2012, 1:20 p.m.
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.
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.
MORE SECURITY NEWS
Cisco report predicts next generation of ransomwareCisco’s 2016 Midyear Cybersecurity Report predicts the next generation of ransomware and new tactics emerging to maximise profit. Read More
Arbor Networks releases global DDoS attack data for first half of 2016Arbor Networks Inc., the security division of NETSCOUT, has released global distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack data for the first six months of 2016, which shows a continuing escalation in both the size and frequency of attacks. Read More
F5 introduces standalone security products to defend against targeted attacksF5 DDoS Hybrid Defender provides superior infrastructure protection by combining multilayered DDoS defence across network, session, and application layers. Read More
Ethical Hacking students can’t get a heck of a jobBotswana ethical hacking students report that they are failing to break into the local job market. Read More
Pokémon GO: Sophos warns against malicious copycatsResearchers at IT security company Sophos have warned mobile users to be cautious when downloading augmented reality (AR) mobile games. Read More
New PCI multifactor authentication rules: Is it too late?The PCI (Payment Card Industry) Security Council has extended its requirements for multi-factor authentication to anyone who has access to credit card data. Read More
Web apps, a leading cause of security breachesWeb applications are the leading cause of security incidents for financial services, according to the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report; this is up from 31 percent from last year’s report. Read More
Analyst firm Ovum publishes SWOT analysis of Arbor Networks Spectrum v2.1Arbor Networks has announced that leading global telecoms analyst firm, Ovum, had published a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of version 2.1 of Arbor Networks Spectrum. Read More
New RSA Via solution innovations strengthen identity assurance and governanceRSA, The Security Division of EMC, has announced new, innovative identity assurance and identity governance capabilities in RSA Via, designed to help organisations effectively balance security and user convenience as they assure identities and better govern and manage privileged access. Read More
FEATURED STORYFirst-ever Africa Barclays Accelerator programme concludes
Ten fintech companies have concluded the first-ever Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHEthical Hacking students can’t get a heck of a job
Botswana ethical hacking students report that they are failing to break into the local job market.