In an increasingly sophisticated and highly globalized world facilitated by digital technology, new forms of crimes threaten Saccos and other financial institutions. Perhaps the most significant is cyber crime.
What is cyber crime?
Cyber crime refers to the use of computers and related devices and the Internet to commit a crime, usually targeting individuals or groups with the motivation to cause physical or mental harm, diminish the reputation of the victim, cause loss of money, or even gain access to sensitive information.
What are the common forms of cyber crime?
Cyber crimes come in various forms. These are phishing, identity theft, hacking, and cyber stalking.
Phishing refers to the use of false email messages to get personal information from a protected system using digital technologies.
Hacking is the shutting down or misuse of websites or computer systems/networks.
Identity theft is the use of another person’s person-identifying information to access privileges due to the victim.
Cyber stalking involves online harassment in which the cyber criminal subjects the victims to a plethora of digital messages and emails.
What are the effects of cyber crime on Saccos and other financial organizations?
Cyber crime has increasingly led Saccos and financial institutions into unexplained loss of money. Hackers and other cyber criminals are infiltrating these organizations’ databases and channeling the companies’ earnings to their accounts without Saccos, microfinance organizations, and banks knowing.
Through identity theft, Saccos and other financial firms are servicing/financing the wrong people. Cyber criminals are stealing the existing customers’ information, through identity theft, and then accessing their accounts, and consequently withdrawing money unauthorized.
Cyber criminals’ actions have led to a growing number of litigation in which customers sue Saccos due to their accounts being hacked. Not only has this led to diminishing reputation but also prompt courts to sanction Saccos heavily.
In light of cyber crime and its deleterious effects, SACCOs and other financial institutions have to come up with a robust cybersecurity system. Cybersecurity is a matter of creating safeguards to avert the threat of cyber crime. The following are some of the strongest cybersecurity measures Tower SACCO take.
Training and educating the staff and customers about cyber crime threats
Separating, encrypting, and backing up data
Regularly upgrading the Information Communication Technology (ICT) System (the updates should be official, preferably performed by the primary software and hardware specialist business partner)
Performing regular security audit of the system to determine vulnerabilities, hence make amends before cyber crime happens
“Stay abreast of the changing nature of the cybersecurity threats”