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Evolving Risks in Financial Services: Protecting Yourself against Digital Risk



By Emmanuel Allotey


Risk management is the backbone of Financial services. The 4th Industrial revolution and the rapid adoption of technology has created an ever greater need to ensure evolving risks arising from technology are mitigated. Managing Digital risk in the changing era is critical to a Financial Institutions sustainability and the financial security of the Digital consumer.


Google has reported to block an average of 18 million phishing emails related to COVID-19 phishing scams in a day. This maybe alarming, but most importantly it exposes the threat and progression of Digital risk. Cybercriminals are looking to take advantage of the increased usage of social media and other online platforms. Unmanaged, this leads to devastating consequences.


Everyone has a role to play.

Financial Institutions need to invest in the implementation of robust measures around cybersecurity. Introduction of authentication & authorization mechanism across all digital channels including Biometric identification, Two-factor authentication (2FA - is a second layer of security to protect an account or system authorisation), and security questions will frustrate the efforts of cybercriminals looking to attack.

Regulatory bodies should develop an agile digital governance framework that responds to a fast-moving technological environment. Enforcement agencies should be empowered to block websites or offending content using existing proxy, firewall, or perimeter controls.

Digital consumers need to remain vigilant. A strong password is the first line of defence against Digital risk. Passwords protect accounts and data and hence need to be impenetrable. It is not advisable to use the same password for every account. Applications (Apps) with Biometric security options such as fingerprint or facial recognition are becoming increasing popular in technology devices and should be enabled. This security feature is a comprehensive password alternative that does not require memory.

Digital consumers conducting transactions Online or through websites, need to ensure they have a reputable anti-virus and malware protection software installed. This type of software detects and prevents any malicious software or threat to your internet security. Software always needs to be kept up to date. Upon completion of online activity, log out and to disable the “remember passwords” feature on the browser.

To thrive in this new digital eco-system, Financial Institutions, Digital consumers, Regulators and other stakeholders need to be digitally resilient to adapt to emerging and latent Digital risks. The responsibilities relating to awareness, identifying, assessing, monitoring, controlling and mitigating of Digital risks resides with all stakeholders. Protect yourself!

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