August kicked off with a hard look at Malaysia's cybersecurity strategy, thanks to a policy forum around security and financial inclusion.
Bank Negara Malaysia and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) held the forum, called A Policy Forum Cybersecurity: Safeguarding the Future for Innovative Financial Inclusion, over two days earlier this month.
The forum involved more than 130 financial policy makers and regulators from 40 countries.
According to the companies, those who are ‘unbanked' and ‘underbanked' are more vulnerable to cyber threats than those who are more familiar with technology and financial knowledge.
The peer-learning forum recognised how cybersecurity and financial inclusion relate, based on AFI member demand. AFI members cited cybersecurity as one of three major areas in which they would like to learn more, AFI says.
Assistant governor for Bank Negara Malaysia Adhari Belal Din, AFI executive director Dr. Alfred Hannig and AFI deputy executive director Norbert Mumba opened the forum.
“The fast-changing digital landscape has brought the financially excluded and underserved populations into the formal financial system, bringing about a positive impact on economic growth and stability”, Belal Din said.
Mumba said, “The event is designed to foster dialogue between financial policymakers and private sector innovators to understand how cybersecurity connects to financial inclusion, and how we may together work towards solutions that provide safeguards for the most vulnerable users of digital financial services”.
Hannig pointed out that financial inclusion would not be possible without digital technologies, which close the gap.
“Cybersecurity is critical for financial inclusion as strategies are driven by adoption of new technologies” he said emphasizing that that AFI brings new technologies and together with its members, develops solutions to deal with new challenges,” he added.
Both Bank Negara Malaysia and AFI have worked on a number of financial partnerships, including regulatory training on cybersecurity challenges and resilience management.
The training was held for middle and senior executives from AFI member instiitutions who are involved in working on cybersecurity challenges.
The training included exercises, role plays and demonstrations to bring out challenges, risks and solutions.
“We hope this training will facilitate a better understanding of the risks, which will in turn lead to improved resilience management and robust risk frameworks so that regulations can continue to encourage innovation rather than stifle them because of cyber risks,” Dr. Hannig concluded.