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Friday, July 01, 2022

CBN releases cybersecurity guidelines, sets compliance date @January 2023 - ITREALMS

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released the Risk-Based Cybersecurity Framework and Guidelines for Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) which sets January 1, 2023 as date for compliance, reports 
ITREALMS.

This, ITREALMS gathered followed the recent rise in the number and sophistication of cybersecurity threats against financial institutions.

CBN in a circular made available to 
ITREALMS on June 29, 2022 and signed by the director, OFIs Department, Nkiru Asiegbu, the directive became mandatory for institutions to strengthen their cyber security defenses if they were to remain safely in business.

The guidelines, CBN noted, represents the minimum requirements to be put in place by all OFIs, stressing that the safety and soundness of member institutions required they operate in a safe and secure environment, pointing out the importance of operating in a safe environment where information is processed and transmitted to ensure confidentially, integrity and availability of information remain intact thereby guiding against any financial loss and reputational risks to name a few.

Also, CBN noted the reliance of financial institutions on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to operate their businesses, highlighting the recent incidences of cyber threats and attacks targeted at financial institutions, which has made the cybersecurity guidelines imperative to mitigate against those risks.

Particularly, CBN underscored some of the recent threats to include ransomware, targeted phishing attacks and Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), maintaining that OFIs measure up to secure their critical digital assets for safety and soundness in operations.

Asiegbu, equally said that some of the objectives of the guidelines among other things remained to create a safer and more secure cyber environment that supports information system security and promote stability of the OFI sub-sector.

Additionally, she said, the guideline seeks to promote and maintain public trust and confidence in the sub-sector, contribute towards the prevention and combating of cybercrime, just as it provides a risk-based approach to managing cybersecurity risk and consists of six parts including cybersecurity governance, and oversight, cybersecurity risk management system, cyber resilience assessment, cybersecurity operational resilience, cyber-threat intelligence and metrics, monitoring and reporting.

Further, CBN reminded boards of any OFI of their roles in ensure compliance to this guideline, moreso in making certain their institutions have an officer in-charge of the information security as part of the strategies.

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