The Vice President,Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, yesterday launched the Financial Industry Command Security Operations Centre (FICSOC) to protect the industry from cyber attacks.
The objective of the FICSOC project initiated by the BoG as part of the requirements in the 2018 Cyber and Information Security Directive, and implemented by Virtual InfoSec Africa, local information communication technology company, is to promote a safer digital financial industry.
FICSOC is established as a threat intelligence sharing platform, fully funded by the BoG to coordinate cyber security efforts within the banking and financial industry.
Specifically, FICSOC is to support financial sector players to build cyber security resilience against cyber and information security threats.
Speaking at the launch of the FICSOC Centre, located at the BoG General Service Complex, at Spintex in Accra, the Vice President Bawumia said the facility was to enhance cyber resilience in the Ghanaian banking and financial industry.
He said the edifice and its infrastructure was one of the first funded and owned by a Central Bank in Africa, and that was a remarkable feat by the BoG, indicating that very soon other Central Banks in Africa would come to the BoG to understudy its approach to cyber security defence of the financial sector.
Dr Bawumia said it formed part of BoG’s efforts at strengthening the cybesecurity landscape to build a robust banking and financial industry and commended the BoG for establishing the FICSOC.
He said that over the years the BoG had invested heavily to ensure that the digital financial industry remained safe, and the launch of the FICSOC marked another milestone to firm up information security controls in reducing the impact of cyber threats on the financial and banking sector.
“What we are launching today is massive and ground-breaking and state-of-the –art infrastructure. The facility will become one of the top national security facilities in the country and contribute to improving cyber security issues among financial sector institutions,” DrBawumia stated.
He said the use of digital technologies continued to transform business models of financial institutions, with new revenue and value producing opportunities.
“While these digital technologies support banking and financial services, the underlying security vulnerabilities imposed key cyber risks among those institutions. Cyber security risks may impair operational capabilities and threatened the viability of financial institutions and the contagion of cyber risks in the financial system is heightened by the extent of the interconnectedness and any serious cyber-attack could threaten the stability of the financial system,” he stressed.
The Governor of the BoG, Dr Ernest Addison, said the project was to create a cyber security environment for banks and financial institutions, adding that the facility would help combat the increasing cyber security threat and risks to the country.
He said all the 23 regulated banks had been connected with the FICSOC and through the facility BoG could send reports/alerts in the form of threat intelligence to the banks to improve their incident response mechanisms.
Dr Addison further said the project would help provide real-time visibility into cyber threats and attacks targeting the banking sector.
Photo/samba/FICSOC Launch pix/24-05-2023
Dr Bawumia (first on the right),Dr Addison (second from right) and other dignitaries removing a cloth to open the FICSOC.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE