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

How to beat cyber criminals – Kaspersky

Cyber criminals are getting more daring every day and everyone on the Internet should be wary and take precautions, warns Internet security solutions firm, Kaspersky. Read More

Kaspersky Lab reveals latest cyberespionage tactics: complexity and modularity VS functionality

Nation-state sponsored cyberespionage attacks are becoming more sophisticated, targeting carefully defined users with complex, modular tools, and keeping well under the radar of increasingly effective detection systems, Kaspersky Lab experts have discovered. Read More

Safe Deposit: Defeating cyber-attacks against banks

With online heists once again hitting the headlines, how should banks and their customers protect themselves against similar attacks?  Read More

Large organisations gear up to address aggressive cyber-security business disruption attacks

Although the frequency of a cyber-security attack on a large scale is low, by 2018, 40 per cent of large organisations will have formal plans to address aggressive cyber-security business disruption attacks, up from none this year, says Gartner. Read More

Identity and access management trends for 2015

CA Technologies has identified five key trends for security and identity and access management (IAM) that will impact organisations and security professionals in 2015 as they compete in the application economy.  Read More

Leading newspaper site hacked

Botswana is seeing unprecedented cases of internet hacking with one of the latest attacks targeting one of the country’s leading private newspapers, Mmegi. Read More

Senegal hit by wave of cyber attacks

Senegal has been hit by a wave of hackings in the past two weeks, two of which hit the popular news website Seneweb.com and ADIE. Read More

Cyber attacks may get more virulent, Cisco, Kaspersky warn

Cyber attackers are using more subtle methods to infiltrate corporate networks with the aim of stealing vital information or simply causing mayhem. This is according Kaspersky Lab and Cisco, who say IT security experts should up their game in educating users how to ward off potential attackers. Read More

SIM box task team steps up successes with help from ICT firm

Ghana’s efforts to crack down on SIM boxing fraud have been given a boost by the efforts of Subah Infosolutions Ghana Limited, which now partners with the authorities in the fight against this crime. Read More

Software vulnerability led to Ghana govt site hack

A software vulnerability and failure to update software led to the hacking of some websites on the government of Ghana’s official portal. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

2bn priced out of internet access2bn priced out of internet access

A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.

IN DEPTH

Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College

The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India. 

COMPANY NEWS

MTN Group Sustainability Report released

MTN Group’s efforts to advance social development in its markets through the integration of sustainable business practices into day-to-day activities, is yielding positive outcomes, the company’s Sustainability ...