Shared financial security in the works to combat hacks

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The national switch, EthSwitch which is undertaking a facility of massive technology based financial activities, commences a project to implement a shared security operation center for financial and payment firms.
Ethswitch in collaboration with the Information Network Security Administration (INSA) held a panel discussion on the implementation of shared security operation center on November 3, 2022 at the Inter-luxury hotel in the presence of executives of financial and payment companies, the National Bank of Ethiopia and INSA.
As indicated on the panel, the shared security operation center will contribute towards the safety of the financial system and transactions from threats. Ethswich has been working to establish this shared security operation center since 2021 after the decision of board of directors.
“We have done wide research on the financial industry preparation to cope with cyber-attacks in different dimensions,” said Yilebes Addis, CEO of EthSwitch Share Company, adding, “Digitalization is growing highly in our country. Similarly, the number of attacks is getting higher and higher from day to day and this center will foster industry-wide collaboration with regards to security allowing institutions to monitor, analyze security threats, access vulnerability reports, alerts and manage security compliance.”
As the CEO indicated, the shared security center will help to avoid duplication of investment by the financial industry players. “The investment is required to establish a robust security center which is significantly higher and challenging for financial companies, and thus Ethswitch will provide different digital platforms which will make it easier,” said Yilebes
The project will be co-implemented By EthSwitch and INSA and will be utilized by all members and participants.
“At an institutional level although it’s important that each bank, microfinance or other payments service provider equips itself with proper technology to ensure security of its systems and customers’ data, it’s apparent that it’s beyond the capacity of most,” said Solomon Desta, Vice Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia and Chairman of the Board of Directors of EthSwitch.
INSA’s Deputy Director-General, Tigist Hamid on her part said that the center will help to protect financial institutions operation centers, allowing for provision of services, under one umbrella.
INSA reported that cyber-attacks are continually increasing in Ethiopia; it revealed that it has thwarted more than 1,600 cyber-attacks on different institutions in the first half quarter of 2015 Ethiopian fiscal year. On the other hand, over 3,000 cyber-attacks were reported during the first half of 2021/22.
“Yes there are always cyber-attacks on the financial sector, however it is not as much as the other sectors,” INSA indicates.
“We need strong collaboration between different institutions. We have prepared business required documents and the next step will be the procurement to build the center. A UK based company called EMR integrated solutions has been consulting Ethswich. It could cost from 15-50 million dollars to finance the security operations center,” Ethswich CEO said.
Additionally as the CEO told capital, Ethswich is in the process to launch different payment platforms and infrastructures to help businesses accept, manage and disburse payments through web and mobile for seamless payments experience and higher security measures with a cost-effective payment method.
Instant payment switch, payment infrastructure for Ecommerce, shared wallet for financial institutions and also conciliation systems are said to be new platforms that the national switch is working on to launch in the near future.