Liquid, Serianu target Saccos with a New Cybersecurity Service
Internet service provider Liquid Telecom has partnered with cyber security consultancy Serianu to bring a new service targeting local savings and credit cooperative societies (Saccos) help them mitigate possible losses from internal and external fraudsters.
Known as SIEMaaS, an acronym for SIEM as A Service, provides a technical solution in identifying and qualifying cyber security risks faced by the organization. SIEMaaS builds technical controls to protect access to sacco members’ personal data and funds. The technical controls are monitored and any fraudulent access is alerted on and actioned to prevent loss.
According to Liquid Telecom Group Chief Technology Officer Ben Roberts, speed and accuracy have become key tenets in the new war against cyber criminals, necessitating a radical shift from the traditional approach to cyber security management for Saccos.
“With Kenya’s sacco members estimated at 10 million with a collective deposit base of Kshs 150 billion, the need for a structured cyber security management program for these financial services organizations has become even more urgent as fraudsters change tact and adopt more sophisticated, slow and silent data breaches,” said Roberts.
SIEMaaS is a first-of-its-kind, integrated service that combines enterprise log monitoring, cyber-threat intelligence and cloud-based threat management and reporting. It is purpose built for the African market and gains unparalleled visibility into insider threats with an intelligent correlation and detailed detection framework.
Serianu Chief Operations Officer Joseph Mathenge said that the firm was working with Liquid Telecom to provide Saccos with an important real time failsafe that also targets to turnaround detection to arresting culprits within a matter of hours.
“We recognize that in addition to playing the deposit-taking and lending functions, many Saccos are expanding their range of member services, necessitating investment in technology infrastructure that can facilitate the transactions and link to other devices such as mobile phones,” said Mathenge.
SIEMaaS, he noted, presents a low cost solution to the Saccos, that can now easily access cyber security as a service and have all their data managed from a remotely from a secure cloud storage.
With cyber security risk taking center stage in sacco boardroom discussions, SIEMaaS will also deliver a new perspective to the valuation of risks associated with cyber security for the member-based financial services organizations.
“Our cyber risk quantification methodology addresses the need for Sacco Directors and members to understand the financial degree of exposure and thus enables the information security teams to adequately apportion investment funds that will give a decent return, particularly in this era of evolving innovation,” said Mathenge.
He explained that one of the major reasons for low investment in cyber security infrastructure was a general inability of the information technology officers to quantify the possible losses from cyber risk exposure.
Mathenge noted that while Saccos were fairly slow in embracing the use of technology to run their operations, those offering FOSA services were increasingly becoming targets for external cyber security breaches. “Most of the fraud cases we have had are internally originated, but the rise in external attacks raises the risk of higher losses,” he said.
The Saccos will now shift from according low prioritization of cyber security risk, under investing in technology infrastructure and address what is turning out to be a biting shortage of skilled staff. Kenya’s savings and credit cooperative societies (SACCOs) are increasingly becoming targets for external cyber-attacks, lending credence to a need for them to establish robust information technology infrastructure to flag such breaches and save their members from losing data and money.
“Our partnership with Liquid Telecom continues to grow and we intend to expand it to other African markets,” noted Serianu Chief Executive Officer William Makatiani. He explained that with Liquid Telecom’s award-winning fibre network, data centres and cloud-based offering, Serianu’s dynamic, business-focused security monitoring and analytics solutions are ideal for end-to-end protection of businesses of all sizes.
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