Cyber Risk Top Threat to Kenya’s Financial Markets – CMA

Kenyan Family Businesses Most at Risk from Digital Disruption

Cybercrime is the biggest challenge to financial markets whose potential economic costs can be immense and damaging to public trust according to the Capital Markets Soundness second quarter 2019 report released Monday. 

“Confidence is significant as cyber incidents could potentially undermine the integrity of the global financial markets,” said Mr. Luke E. Ombara, Director, Regulatory Policy and Strategy, CMA.

The report says with a prevalence of Cyber Incidents from financial data breaches at large multinational public companies to high profile incidents on Central Banks and Government systems have risen due to increased use of Financial Technology (FinTech).

“Cyber threats in capital markets are seen to lead to manipulation of order management systems leading to incorrect feeds, false orders, corruption of trade surveillance systems thus enabling manipulative, illegal and abusive trade practices,’’ says the report.

It shows that cybersecurity landscape for asset and wealth management firms is also fraught with an array of threats aimed at stealing or compromising clients’ investment or personal data.

‘’With the growing adoption of wealth management applications on mobile and via cloud-based services, attacks like Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS), ransomware and phishing are equally gaining popularity,” notes the report.

CMA asks companies to adopt technology-based solutions including blockchain, artificial intelligence, and robotic process automation to protect themselves.

The latest report by cybersecurity firm Serianu shows the cost of cybercrime in Kenya in 2018 was KSh30 billion while anticipating that organizations could lose more in the coming years.

The report indicates that only 1700 cybersecurity skilled professionals are certified in Kenya with 60 percent of companies set to experience a shortage of cybersecurity professionals this year especially at senior and mid-management levels.