Saccos warned over cybercrime threats

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By Munene Maina

Saccos are increasingly becoming easy targets for cybercrime, a situation that threatens reputational risk of the sector.
The Permanent Secretary in the State Department of Co-operative, Ali Noor said cyber-attack was not new in the co-operative sector
This followed revelation by Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Co-operatives Managing Director George Ototo of Saccos banking system hacking without going to the specifics citing confidentiality.
The Kenyan Sacco sector has remained robust with regard to all the parameters on growth performance and is among Africa’s best.
“We advise cooperatives to put in place IT systems providing security platforms”, Noor said adding thatmost of hackings go unreported.
“I encourage you to ensure you have the right internal controls and risk mitigation strategies, to keep away fraudsters seeking to fleece Saccos”, he said.
Failure to guard against cybercrime, Ototo said, will translate not only to the loss of members’ funds, but also a reputational risk to the sector
He said an annual budget should be set aside to invest in cyber-security products and staff training on security measures.
In 2015, the Central Bank of Kenya announced receiving credible information that the bank and other government facilities could be the target of an imminent cyber-attack.
“In light of this risk, we advise all staff to be cautious when opening e-mails and accessing the internet. Do not open e-mails from unknown sources,” CBK said in a notice.

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