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Cyber Security Must Receive Sufficient Board Level and Government Support

experts’ consensus at KPMG Africa Cyber Security Conference

With the society becoming more dependent on technology and digital interconnectivity, cybercrime poses a whole new set of threats, risks and dangers to individuals, businesses and the society at large. As part of efforts to combat this growing problem, there is an urgent need for board level support for the development and implementation of the right framework for preventing and combating cyber risks. This was elucidated by Atul Gupta, KPMG Global Cyber Security Lead, High Growth Markets, at the ‘2017 KPMG Africa Cyber Security Conference’ at the Eko Hotels and Suites on May, 4th 2017.

First Panelists Pix[1260]

According to Mr. Gupta, “a key imperative from the board governance perspective should be the identification of critical assets and the development of a plan for protecting them. It is also important to have a proactive approach for identifying new cyber threats and risks”.

The KPMG Africa Cyber Security Conference, themed ‘Security and Resilience in a Digital World’, was attended by hundreds of cyber security enthusiasts and representatives from different sectors. Speakers and panelists included leading cyber security experts from several countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, India and Israel. The conference presented an interactive forum for stakeholders to discuss the increasing risk and occurrence of cyber threats; and an opportunity for them to share their recommendations for individuals and companies to stay a step ahead of cyber threats by implementing the right cyber defense framework.

Presentations and panel discussions at the forum centered on important cyber security topics including, ‘Cyber in the Boardroom: Helping Boards Meet Their Responsibilities Regarding Cyber Security & Resilience’ and ‘Addressing the Skills Gap in Cyber Security’; with demo sessions by leading cyber security solution vendors, including SailPoint, CyberArk, Minereye, Microsoft, CheckPoint, and TrapX.

In his welcome address, Joseph Tegbe, Partner & Head, Technology Advisory & Markets, KPMG in Nigeria and Lead, Africa Cyber Security explained that KPMG considered it imperative to hold this conference to bring to the fore, increasing cyber risks that individuals, private and public sector organizations are exposed to on the digital front. He also stressed the important role that the governments, company boards and management should play in bridging the skills gaps in the cyber security space.

Delivering the event’s keynote address, Dr. Kate Getao, ICT Secretary in the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology of Kenya, observed that African governments are already faced with the task of governing key social interactions, personal identifiable information (PII) and financial transactions which are mostly digital. On the heels of this, she stressed the need for governments in Africa to study, research on ICT and influence and build capacity in this space to be adequately equipped to oversee the increasing digital landscape.

L – R - Sylvester Yaovi Apedoe Jnr. – Director of IT, Universal Merchant Bank, Ghana; Chidinma Iwe - Chief Information Security Officer, MainOne, Nigeria; Rakiya Mohammed – Chief Information Security Officer, CBN; Itay Kozuch – Lead, Cyber Defense Services, KPMG Isreal and Andrew Akoto – Partner, Risk Consulting, KPMG Ghana, panelists at the KPMG Cyber Security Conference recently in Lagos.

Other notable speakers and panelists at the Conference included, Rakiya Mohammed, the Chief Information Security Officer, Central Bank of Nigeria; Bharat Soni, CISO & Group Head, Information Security Group, GTB Plc., Nigeria; Chidinma Iwe, Chief Information Security Officer, MainOne; Peter Hunter, Territory Manager, Africa, SailPoint Technologies; Itay Kozuch, Lead, Cyber Defense Services, KPMG in Israel; Sylvester Apedoe, Head of Information Technology, Universal Merchant Bank, Ghana; Isa Ali Ibrahim, DG, National Information Technology Development Agency, Nigeria; Senyo Hadzor, Network Information Security Specialist, Vodafone, Ghana.

During the event, the 2017 KPMG Africa Cyber Security Report titled, ‘Security and Resilience in a Digital World”, was launched by the KPMG in Nigeria Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Victor Onyenkpa. The report examined major cyber security topics including emerging trends, government perspectives, board and management responsibilities and ways to address the skills gap in the cyber security space. To download the free report, visit

As a highlight of the conference, John Anyanwu, Associate Director, Technology Advisory, KPMG in Nigeria, led the audience through the ‘Cyber Incident Response Game’, a live simulation of a typical cyber security attack and response scenario. The game was designed by KPMG to show the speed and complexity of real world situations, providing an interactive user experience where the most popular decisions by the audience determined the sequence of the game.

Launch of the Cyber Security Publication L- R – Andrew Akoto – Partner, Risk Consulting, KPMG Ghana; Atul Gupta - KPMG Global Cyber Security Lead, High-Growth Markets; Dr Kate Getao - ICT Secretary, Ministry of Information Communication & Technology, Kenya; Nancy Mosa – Partner, Risk Advisory, KPMG East Africa; Joseph Tegbe - Partner & Head, Technology Advisory, KPMG Nigeria & Africa Cyber Security SGI Lead; Christopher Okeke - Director, Cybersecurity, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); Ayotunde Coker, MD/CEO, Rack Centre Limited and Victor Onyenkpa – Partner & Chief Operating Officer, KPMG in Nigeria, launching the first edition of the KPMG Cyber Security Thought Leadership, titled – “Security & Resilience in a Digital World” during the KPMG Cyber Security Conference recently held in Lagos

Summarizing key learnings from the live cyber game, John Anyanwu noted the importance of effective collaboration within organizations as key to enhancing cyber incident response. According to him, it also highlighted the need for management to be educated on managing security incidents as well as the importance of robust information security awareness and resilient data storage systems. For more information, to download assets from the conference, visit


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