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The governor of the SBP emphasises cyber-security concerns

Dr Reza Baqir, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), has underlined the difficulties and challenges of cyber-security faced by banks, according to a release.

In his keynote speech to the Islamic Financial Services Board, he emphasised the concerns (IFSB). On December 8, 2021, Malaysia hosted the 13th Public Lecture Series in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, with the topic “Sustainability and Cyber Resilience.”

The public lecture was held in partnership with the UAE’s central bank. The lecture series is the IFSB’s flagship event, where distinguished academics from across the world offer their profound views on the most important topics in the Islamic financial sector.

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The 13th public lecture was organised as a side event to the 39th IFSB Council meeting.

Dr Baqir delivered the keynote speech on “Cyber-security in the era of digitalisation: Regulatory perspective” in the event.

He highlighted significant issues and challenges surrounding cyber-security being faced by the banks and enlightened the audience on the policy measures and regulatory initiatives undertaken by the State Bank of Pakistan, in this regard.

He said digitalisation is one of the biggest disruptors of this millennium that is remodeling the real economy and the financial sector on a global scale.

Dr Baqir also highlighted numerous business opportunities emerging due to the recent trends in digitalisation, which would spur growth across the economies.

He emphasised that interconnection and complexity of the financial system and the massive adoption of technology has created vulnerabilities, which necessitates the policymakers and regulators to stay vigilant and develop befitting policy measures to address the risks emerging through technological disruptions.

Sharing his thoughts on the policy response against the cyber-security risks, the SBP governor stressed upon developing robust cyber-security protocols and regulations to improve the overall governance regime in the financial institutions by making cyber-security a boardroom agenda of financial institutions.

He also underscored the need to strengthen operational cyber resilience through promoting a culture of collaboration and coordination among the global financial industry to respond to cyber threats in real-time.

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In his concluding remarks, Dr Baqir envisaged that the central banks may develop and promote centres for regional cooperation and collaboration on cyber-security.

Earlier, Khaled Mohamed Balama, governor of the Central Bank of UAE, welcomed the dignitaries and highlighted on the significance of the cyber-security, amid technological innovations and increased focus of financial sector on digitalisation, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other dignitaries, including Huda Al Lawati, founder and chief executive officer, Aliph Capital, delivered her lecture on Islamic finance and sustainability, while David Staples, managing director of EMEA Corporate Finance Group, the UAE, delivered the lecture on the cyber-security.

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