ThinkNnovation conference: FITC, NIBSS to help organizations counter rising cybersecurity risks

Cybersecurity threats to organizations heightened in the Covid-19 era due to the unprecedented rise in digitization across all sectors of the economy, including the financial services sector.

In a bid to enhance industry knowledge and bring together stakeholders from around the world in the financial services and other sectors of the economy, to discuss salient issues on post-pandemic cybersecurity developments and how organizations can build cybersecurity resilience in an increasingly interconnected world, FITC, the world-class, innovation-led, and technology-driven knowledge institution in collaboration with Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) is scheduled to host the 2nd edition of its ThinkNnovation Cybersecurity Conference themed: ‘Building Cyber Resilience in an Interconnected World (Rescoping & Dimensioning Risk, Driving Business Growth)’ holding virtually on Thursday, 21st and Friday, 22nd October 2021.

The FITC/NIBSS ThinkNnovation Cybersecurity Conference 2.0 which will be facilitated by over 25 local and international speakers C-suite executives, thought leaders, regulatory agencies, digital transformation specialists, investment companies, and subject matter experts in cybersecurity will be hosted by the deputy governor financial system stability, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and chairman, FITC Board, Aishah Ahmad, who will give the keynote address, while the managing director/CEO Cryptoforensics Corporation, United States, Augustine Ohwobete will be presenting the opening address.

The line-up of speakers billed for the flagship conference includes Tunde Coker, MD/CEO Rack Centre Group; Doyin Odunfa, MD/CEO Digital Jewels; Pious Okigbo Jr, MD/CEO Infosoft Consulting; Confidence Staveley, founder/executive director, CyberSafe Foundation; Olusegun Olugbile, CEO Data Analytics Privacy Technology Limited; Nkemdilim Begho, MD/CEO Future Software Limited; and David Isiavwe, President, Information Security Society of Africa, Nigeria.

Other speakers include Kenneth Okereafor, deputy GM, National Health Insurance Scheme, Favour Femi Oyewole, chief information security officer, Access Bank, Tope Aladenusi, partner/head Cyber Risk Services Deloitte, West Africa, Wunmi Faiga, chief information security officer, NIBSS, and Gbenga Awelewa, country manager/CISO Infoprive.


To register for the FITC/NIBSS ThinkNnovation Cybersecurity Conference 2.0, click here

The conference, which will feature five plenary and three breakout sessions to give a broad and balanced perspective across the diverse issues related to cybersecurity within and outside Nigeria, is set to attract executives from the financial services and other sectors of the economy, chief information security officers, chief technology officers, information security and technology officers of organizations, regulators, heads of functional departments in financial and non-financial institutions, and other relevant stakeholders across industries in Sub-Sahara Africa to discuss cybersecurity risks in current times and how to build organizational resilience for sustainable business growth.

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Speaking on the event, the MD/CEO, FITC, Chizor Malize, disclosed that the acceleration of digitization is the attendant cybersecurity risk across various dimensions: operational, technology, and human. “The interconnectivity of financial systems globally means that a cyber threat in one single entity exposes other entities, in other continents, across the value chain. The FITC/NIBSS ThinkNnovation Cybersecurity Conference 2.0 seeks to bring together stakeholders in the Financial Services and other sectors, to discuss salient issues on post-pandemic cybersecurity developments and how to build cybersecurity resilience in an increasingly interconnected world. The increasing focus on digitalization does create some questions around security, cybersecurity, cyber-crime control, and identity, all of which are crucial to maintaining a well-running financial market, organizational and business success” She noted.

Speaking further, Malize said the conference is expected to help financial institutions and other businesses across the economy to take precautions that would strengthen their operations; helping them identify and implement novel strategies to thrive in this age of innovative disruption, and be strategically repositioned to drive new innovations, increase market share, and remain competitive.

“The conference further presents an opportunity for the facilitators to take a deep dive into the evolving post-pandemic cybersecurity developments, discuss ways organizations can adapt to post-pandemic cybersecurity threats, understand the risk of ransomware and operational technology to organizations, and utilize organizational data to derive actional threat intelligence.

Participating organizations will also be equipped on how to formulate cybersecurity strategies to properly balance technology and talents, and design frameworks for building cyber resilience in their organizations’’ she added.

The topics to be discussed in the plenary sessions include ‘Evolving Post Pandemic Cybersecurity Trends: Adapting to the New Unstable Normal’, ‘Assessing the Risk of Ransomware and Operational Technology (OT) to Organisations’, ‘Utilizing Organizational Data in Deriving Actionable Threat Intelligence’, ‘Formulating Organisational Cyber Security Strategy, Balancing Technology and Organisational Ambassadors (Talent)’ and ‘Building Cyber Resilience in an Interconnected World’.

The breakout sessions will feature discussions around two critical topic areas: ‘AI and Protection of Critical Infrastructure’ and ‘Remote Eavesdropping Vulnerabilities in Mobile Messaging Applications’.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant implementation of social distancing directives, altered business processes, and new economic realities, businesses must review and address their technology infrastructure and cybersecurity measures. The swift changes brought about by COVID-19 — including the movement of a large portion of the workforce to telework and the expansion of e-commerce footprints — has caused many companies to implement new IT capabilities ad hoc.

The ‘Evolving Post Pandemic Cybersecurity Trends: Adapting to the New Unstable Normal’ session will outline the talent, tools, and technology needed to secure and protect a firm through the five pandemic-induced shifts which will persist. They include the consideration that customers will demand safety and convenience, brands will create hybrid experiences, stakeholders will build the future of work, smart firms will retire technical debt and resiliency will become a competitive asset.

Unlike other cyberattacks, ransomware attacks against operating technology (OT) infrastructure have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ‘Assessing the Risk of Ransomware and Operational Technology to Organisations’ session will examine why OT is such an attractive target for ransomware actors, what areas are of greatest concern, and what organizations can do to mitigate the risk of a ransomware attack on their OT infrastructure.

As security operations teams struggle with increasingly sophisticated adversaries exploiting more vulnerabilities in today’s organizations, Threat Intelligence is often touted as the key to proactivity. The ‘Utilizing Organizational Data in Deriving Actionable Threat Intelligence’ plenary session seeks to explore how organizations can extract the most value from Threat Intelligence and use it in a way that enables security teams and security leaders to look beyond the latest alert, or vulnerability announcement. In this session, panelists will explain what actionable Threat Intelligence means for security teams and how operators can obtain it.

From cross-industry anonymized data, it can be seen that companies focus time and budget on missing technology controls much more than missing people/process controls. However, cybersecurity standards show that an average of 80% of most cyber risks is related to people/process controls. A recent example is the Solar Winds attack, very technical and sophisticated methods were used, but the key event that enabled the whole situation was a missed human process. Someone didn’t change the default administrative secrets for an email account.

Panelists on plenary 4, ‘Formulating Organisational Cyber Security Strategy. Balancing Technology and Organisational Ambassadors (Talent)’ will discuss this idea further and offer a few ways risk management leaders can recognize if their strategy is well balanced or not, while also helping participants understand how OT/ICS cyber security strategies can balance and leverage technology solutions.

During the 5th plenary session on ‘Building Cyber Resilience in an Interconnected World’, panelists will share perspectives on what the emerging cyber security issues related to digitalization are and how they are affecting CIs resilience, how to make sure that OT Security is part of that discussion, how to ensure security standards are fit for digitalized critical infrastructure and determine if Africa’s critical infrastructures are truly ready to adapt to digital.

Advancements in Industry 5.0 and Society 5.0 have connected almost every aspect of physical human life with a corresponding cyber world called the digital twin. In the physical world, OT processes of CI can now be interacted with, monitored, and remotely controlled through its digital twin. The massive amount of data generated from the OT can be processed by AI, significant events can be deduced, and real-time visualization can be achieved with the digital twins.

The breakout session on ‘AI and Protection of Critical Infrastructure’ will afford the speakers and participants the platform and an opportunity to share experiences in the design and development of AI that is envisioned to protect 16 CIs and share best recommendations so that AI and human managers of CI can make a perfect human-AI teaming.

In 2019, a serious vulnerability was discovered by multiple parties which allowed an attacker to call a target and force the call to connect without user interaction from the target, allowing the attacker to listen to the target’s surroundings without their knowledge or consent. While this remarkable bug was soon fixed, it presented a new and unresearched attack method in mobile applications that support video conferencing. The ‘Remote Eavesdropping Vulnerabilities in Mobile Messaging Applications’ breakout session will examine the attempts made so far to find similar bugs in other messaging applications.

The FITC/NIBSS ThinkNnovation Cybersecurity Conference was launched in 2020 to provide a platform for stakeholders and industry experts to discuss critical issues relating to cybersecurity which had risen to an unprecedented level owing to the advent of Covid-19 global pandemic and subsequently, the accelerated digitization across all sectors of the economy within Nigeria and globally.

FITC continues to bridge the knowledge gap required under shifting global business conditions and developments, building executives who are exceptional leaders, confident decision-makers, skilled strategists, global thinkers, and effective change agents.

About FITC

FITC, Financial Institutions Training Centre- is a world-class innovation-led knowledge and professional services firm providing cutting edge Learning, Advisory, and Research Services to clients in the Financial Services and other sectors, within and outside Nigeria.

Established in 1981 as a non-profit organization limited by guarantee to provide capacity building and serve as a knowledge hub for the Nigerian Financial Services Sector. FITC is owned by the Bankers Committee, i.e., CBN, NDIC, and all deposit money banks in Nigeria.

For four decades, FITC has been at the forefront of innovative knowledge offerings designed for an array of C-suite executives, directors of banks, and other financial institutions. Leveraging on international Faculty and partnership, FITC has led the knowledge space in delivering high valued capacity building solutions for Board Directors and C-suites.

FITC is a recipient of the International Federation of Training & Development Organisations (IFTDO) ‘Change Agent in Learning and Development in Africa’ Award, 2020 Business Excellence Award (The BIZZ Award), 2020 Strategy Innovation & Change Award, The International Business Excellence (IBX) Award, among others.


Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) was incorporated in 1993 and is owned by all licensed banks including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It commenced operations in June 1994.

NIBSS operation is supported with the best Information, Communication, and Technology infrastructure for Automated online operations as well as effective information and data transmission security practices to deliver world-class payment/settlement services. Operational and Credit Risks in funds transfer across financial institutions are adequately mitigated by NIBSS operations.

NIBSS is owned by the CBN and all licensed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in Nigeria. The Board consists of CBN Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria, as the Chairman and Representatives of the stipulated Banks

NIBSS has put in place modern world-class infrastructures for handling inter-bank payments in order to remove potential bottlenecks associated with inter-bank funds transfer and settlement.

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