Participants at the Member Training on Cybersecurity for Financial Inclusion ended four days of in-depth learning on 20 February by distilling their newly acquired knowledge into cybersecurity strategies at the institutional level.
A total of 31 people from 24 AFI member institutions took part in the capacity building event in Kuala Lumpur, during which they tackled a variety of issues relating the relevance and impact of cybersecurity on financial inclusion. On the final day, sessions focused on harmonizing cyber risk management and applying a gender lens to cybersecurity guidelines.
AFI’s head of capacity building, Madhurantika Moulick, began her closing remarks by thanking co-host Bank Negara Malaysia before noting the importance of the training to many aspects of financial inclusion.
“This is the first time that we have had so many representatives from very different departments at central banks and this is exactly the direction in which we want to head because financial inclusion is not an agenda in itself but one that cuts across our members’ various initiatives,” she said.
Komitas Stepanyan from Central Bank of Armenia, who led the training as chair of the cybersecurity subgroup within AFI’s Digital Financial Services Working Group, described cybersecurity as a “critical issue for financial inclusion.”
“As much as we encourage our society to use financial services, we still need to take care of their security,” he said.
Recognizing that women are often the main targets of cyber attacks, the sessions also addressed the need for cybersecurity policies and regulatory initiatives to include women, youth and micro, small and medium enterprises – especially those owned and led by women.
Participants not only engaged in developing a common understanding of gender topics and terminologies but also focused on possible regulatory responses to gender discrimination. In addition, they learnt about strategies to reduce risks that women are exposed to when accessing online financial products and services, such as e-wallets and online banking transactions.
AFI works with its members to organize a range of capacity building events based around a peer-learning model, in which participants gain knowledge by sharing and exchanging information. Capacity building events, one of AFI’s most popular services, are designed to meet the learning needs of members and are most often delivered by the members themselves ensuring optimal use of the experience and expertise of the network.
This event has been partially funded with UK aid from the UK government.
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