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Letshego urges vigilance against ‘internet’s dark side’

Pan-African financial services provider Letshego has welcomed the advent of the internet across the continent, but warned of the continued danger of the resource’s dark side.

Presenting the company’s financial results for 2021, Group Chairman, Enos Banda said technological advancements bring with it increased cyber risks, exposing Africans to connectivity-driven crime, espionage and even sabotage of critical infrastructure and businesses.

“Until recently, Africa accounted for a negligible portion of overall internet traffic and its systems were seldom targeted by cybercriminals.

“That status will change in the coming decade as African nations and their enterprises and the young population of citizens become more cyber active,” said Banda, adding that financial services firms are prime targets for cybercrime.

“They are more likely to be targeted because of the sensitive data they carry. Expanding digital banking service channels and the increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks have exacerbated vulnerabilities and cyber risk,” he added.

Banda said financial services providers could experience reputational damage as a result of lost client information or service unavailability.

“When a bank data breach appears in news reports, many of the targeted bank’s customers respond by transferring their accounts to other institutions due to perceiving that their bank’s security controls are not adequate to protect confidential customer data.”

Banda stressed that Letshego has implemented appropriate preventative, detective and corrective controls as part of its intensified cyber security programme.

“We are investing in our cyber governance to mitigate this growing risk,” he said.

Banda also underlined the impact of the digital skills gap or the availability of adequately trained graduates to fill digital posts amid increasing digital transformation which has picked up pace because of COVID-19.

In 2021 Letshego launched its ‘LetsGo Digital Mastery Programme’ to empower communities with future-fit skills and regional financial experience.

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