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Mobile money poorly regulated— Cyber security expert

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Mr. Samuel Boateng

The Chief Executive Officer of Slamm Technologies, Mr. Samuel Boateng, says mobile money operations have been poorly regulated in the country.
He said 11 years after the introduction of the service in Ghana, the country should not be battling with such high rates of fraud cases in the business.

Since its introduction in 2011, the mobile money service has driven financial inclusion in the country.

However, it continues to attract the attention of fraudsters who dupe unsuspecting customers of huge sums of money.

The incidence of mobile money fraud continues to be on the rise each year, despite numerous efforts by the telecommunications companies (telcos) to combat it.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic to mark Cyber-security awareness month in October, Mr Boateng said there were no proper policies and regulations to combat the fraud associated with mobile money.

“The telcos and the government should have by now been able to introduce proper regulations and policies to combat crime in the sector,” he said.

Cyber security infrastructure

Mr. Boateng pointed out that the country lacked proper cyber security infrastructure to fight fraud in the digital space.

He said the situation was not peculiar to Ghana, but common in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

On why the sub-region was one of the areas with the least incidence of cyber-related fraud cases reported, he said it was not because it had strong systems but rather because of the low rate of use of digital channels.

“We are not seeing high incidence of cyber crimes because there is nothing to report on. We are not using systems as we should because the cash system is still high here.

“So compared to developed countries where most things are now digital, we are not yet there,” he stated.

Putting in place right systems

With the growing use of digital platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he urged businesses to put in place the right cyber-security systems.

“They need to put in place an end-point detection system that will check cyber fraud,” he noted.

He said the IT infrastructure of most organisations was vague and, therefore, urged them to put in place the right systems that would protect their companies and integrity.

“They need to create a system that can identify any vulnerabilities, weaknesses or risks, so that customers can be safe when using their online platforms,” he said.

Policy implementation

Mr. Boateng pointed out that while Ghana had the right cyber-security policy framework, what was lacking was implementation.

“We put in place the right policies, but fail to implement them. If we are to implement them, especially the security measures, we will be fine,” he said.

He said while the government’s decision to establish security operation centres that would serve as centralised units that dealt with security issues on an organisational and technical level in the country was commendable, it should be done in all regions to get the needed results.

“The government’s security operation centre is only in certain places and not all the regions and this will affect us badly. How does someone in a different region report an incident?

“So until they implement the policy in all regions and train lots of security experts, we will not get anywhere. It is not only policies that will fix the problem; we need experts on the ground who will pick up data and investigate them,” he said.

Source:Graphic Online

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