Webinar 6

Concept note: Cybersecurity challenges for Financial Institutions in the context of expanding digital financial services

The EIB West and Central Africa SME Banking and Microfinance Academy 2021

Webinar series – Learning event

Topic 6:  Cybersecurity challenges for Financial Institutions in the context of expanding digital financial services 

20 January 2022, 01 pm (Abidjan) / 02 pm (Cotonou, Paris, Frankfurt, Douala, Kinshasa)


1.      Introduction and background

Within the context of the European Investment Bank (EIB) TA Financial sector programme for West and Central Africa, Making Finance Work For Africa (MFW4A) and the IPC, Horus and IECD Consortium are hosting a series of webinars for banks and microfinance institutions operating in these regions. EIB’s mission clearly supports motions to:

  • to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in line with banking and microfinance institutions (MFIs) regulatory requirements, and
  • (PFIs) deliver financial services on a credit worthiness basis, proactively managing their loan portfolios including present and future Non Performing Loans (NPLs) and ensuring the safety of customer deposits.

This is the concept note for the sixth webinar, which will cover topics around

Cybersecurity challenges for Financial Institutions in the context of expanding digital financial services

With the Covid-19 pandemic, the digitalization of financial services has been a focus for banks and microfinance institutions alike. This has included collaboration with FinTech companies, and Mobile Network Operators (MNO) in order to offer a wider range of possibilities for clients in terms of access to their accounts, and to maximize the possibilities to transact outside banking halls, 24/7, including online. Also in terms of cybersecurity and risks related to cybercrime, the COVID-19 crisis has abruptly “changed the game”, forcing FIs to change practices abruptly and adapt to new ways of operating and communicating.

Sub-Saharan banks are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks such as credit card fraud, phishing or even intrusions. A recent report shoes that 85% of surveyed financial institutions in UMEOA, UMAC and DRC have already been victims of one or more cyberattacks that have resulted in damage, sometimes repeatedly.[1]

In this context, experts, financial institutions, regulators and other participants are invited to this webinar to learn about updates on cybersecurity and possible vulnerabilities that must be solved to reduce the risk of an attack.

Panellists would be invited to share their perspective on the following issues:

  • Introduction to key cybersecurity risks
  • Increased risks due to Digital Financial Services
  • Key steps to protect FIs and their clients
  • Key steps to complete before and during a digitization process

2.      Outcomes

At the end of the webinar, training, participants should have gained awareness and basic knowledge about:

  • The increased level of exposure most FIs face in general even with basic services, and in particular with Digital Financial Services.
  • How cyber criminality is evolving, what vulnerabilities FIs are exposed to and what can be done about it
  • Where to start on the cybersecurity reinforcement journey

3.      Tentative speakers

Moderators: Edwige Takassi, IPC & Sheila Okiro, ADFI

Introductory words: EIB regional office representative,

Tentative speakers:

  • Eric Malm, IT director, ABL
  • Ghislain Nkoudjou, SIS director, CCA Bank
  • Jean-Louis Perrier, Program director, ARC

[1] Ali El Azzouzi, the founder of Dataprotect, a Moroccan company, analyzed 148 banks from eight member countries of the West African Monetary Union (Umeoa) and three from the Central African Monetary Union (Umac), plus DRC.