The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has disclosed that financial institutions will soon be required to publish their cybersecurity policies.

This, according to the Central Bank, is in line with a bill expected to be passed by parliament soon.

Michael Mensah, Head of ICT at the BoG, made this known while addressing the Digital Banking and Cyber Security Summit organised by the Standard Chartered Bank at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, Wednesday.

According to him, "BoG will soon require financial institutions to publish bank-specific cybersecurity policies in line with the provisions in the Payment System and Services Bill.”

He said the bill when passed will require “financial institutions to also implement integrated approach by adopting an enterprise-wide framework of cyber risk management in line with business objectives.”

This, he believes, “will support financial institutions achieve both business and security-focused objectives as well as regulatory compliance in an efficient and effective way.”

The Head of ICT at the Central Bank urged banks to examine the state of their security and come up with ways to improve their security.

Mr Mensah noted that while digitalisation of banking operations has enhanced services, it is associated with certain risks including identity theft.

Following increasing global cyber-attacks which has destroyed financial assets and savings, “it is important therefore to ensure that the security of electronic banking and products and services are not compromised,” he said.

As policymaker and regulator of the industry, the Bank of Ghana assured that it will continue “to exercise firm oversight of the payment system, monitor risk associated with digital innovation and develop appropriate regulatory responses without stifling innovation.”

To enhance this, BoG has prepared a banking sector cyber and information security guidelines to protect consumers and create a safer environment for online and e-payment products.

The guidelines, Mr Mensah said, seeks to create a secure environment for transactions within the cyberspace and guarantee trust and confidence in ICT systems.

He urged banks to take steps protect bank customers and clients against cyber-attacks.

Mr Mensah commended the Standard Chartered Bank for bringing cybersecurity experts to discuss this all-important topic that affects the banking industry

It was his hope that the lessons learnt will “strengthen our resolve to fight cyber threats in the industry.”

Several speakers at the summit, including Prof Nii Narku Quaynor, who played an important role in the introduction and development of the Internet throughout Africa; Archie Hesse, CEO of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) and Alex Bram of Hubtel, called for a collaborative effort to deal with issues pertaining to cybersecurity.

Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, CEO of Telecoms Chamber, also called for the speedy implementation of the National Identification System to help check and control mobile money fraud.

Watch the full event below: