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Halogen Lauds Latest E-Pension Innovation, Stress Need For Cybersecurity

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Nigeria’s leading technology-driven security company, Halogen Security, has applauded the country’s Pension Fund Administrators’ (PFAs) latest innovation that enables employees in Nigeria manage their pension funds online.

In a statement in Lagos Saturday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Company, Wale Olaoye, said that it was long overdue for the sector to further embrace technology that will make doing business more flexible for Nigerians. He noted that doing business online was the way forward for the financial sector as “it gives clients global access, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with improved client service through greater flexibility and there is increased professionalism and faster delivery of products. The benefits are endless,” he said.

The Halogen boss said that although the Insurance industry all over the world is a ‘latecomer’ in the use of technology, the fact that industry giants are investing heavily in innovation and research means that there will be extensive changes in the way business is done in the near future.

“The insurance industry has generally been quite slow to pick up on new technology. In a recent survey of insurers by UK based multinational risk management company, Willis Towers Watson, 74 per cent of respondents are of the opinion that the industry is far behind in digital innovation.

“But globally, change is coming in the industry as major insurance companies are pouring millions into innovation and research. Axa is investing more than €3bn into IT and digital developments. And others, from Allianz and Munich Re in Europe to Manulife in Canada and XL Catlin in Bermuda, are also investing heavily.

“This is why we know that insurance will be very different in the near future as we’re just at the early stages of technology being applied to risk management,” Olaoye added.

The security expert, who recently bagged a Titan of Tech Merit Award, however, admonished PFA’s to invest in the latest cybersecurity techniques to protect the integrity of their networks, programs and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access.

He said, “It is not for nothing that the U.S. federal government has allotted over $13 billion every year to cybersecurity since late 2010. The number of threats that cybercriminals release continues to rise exponentially so there is a real risk of losing data, sales, productivity, and even money.

“We all witnessed the highly publicised ransomware demands against corporate and public sector organisations across the world earlier this year in what was described as the biggest ransomware’ attack in history. Events like these have underlined how vulnerable organisations can be to criminals who know how to exploit computer systems and networks to obtain information. The global insurance industry, worth close to $1 trillion annually, is a prime target for cyber attack.”

Explaining how cyber attacks work, Mr. Olaoye said that attackers usually target files and encrypts them in a way that it becomes inaccessible to the organization. “This is when they demands payment in bitcoin in order to regain access. The worst part is that there is no guarantee that access will be granted after payment.

“However, with a research-driven approach, we truly understand the methodologies of the threat actors which is the basis for effective counters, meeting each specific threat with a targeted defense.

“Some effective cyber security strategies within the sector include implementing effective controls such as ‘Attack Path Mapping’, a unique solution that uses real-world attack methods to determine the risk to your most critical assets, providing your organisation with actionable intelligence that can be used to mitigate risks.

“There are also strategic solutions such as ‘Targeted Attack Simulations’, which can keep PFA’s safe in the knowledge they are using the most advanced defenses to resist the most advanced attackers,” He concluded.

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