KIGALI, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) on Friday called on Rwandan financial institutions to be wary of looming cyber attacks in the region, particularly in banking institutions where defences are inadequate.
John Rwangombwa made the call while speaking at a national forum on cyber and financial crimes in the Rwandan capital Kigali.
"Criminals are constantly developing new techniques to cyber crime, we need to keep a constant review on activities carried out in banking institutions because they are highly vulnerable to cyber attacks," said Rwangombwa.
He added that cyber related crimes are relatively a new phenomenon in Rwanda, saying that the existing cases remain a threat to the national economy and development.
The governor said that Rwandan banking sector is working on creating a secure investment environment for financial sector to thrive and achieve economic development.
However, Emmanuel Gasana, inspector general of police of Rwanda, said that cyber crimes remain a global threat and Rwanda is ready to avert the threat.
"We are aware of cyber criminals who quietly enter networks to access valuable data, disrupt activities, rob financial institutions and blackmail companies. We have put in place several cyber control measures to counter these crimes," he added.
Gasana pointed out that addressing cyber security challenges, there is a need to enhance cooperation, timely information sharing and adopt cyber security protection policy.
In 2016, Rwanda thwarted more than 1,000 cyber attacks daily before they could affect targeted individuals, companies and institutions, according to the central bank.
In the same year, Rwanda launched a 3 million U.S. dollars cyber security system aimed at protecting public and private institutions against online crimes.
A survey conducted by cyber security company Kaspersky Lab in January 2016 indicated that most businesses across Africa had been hit hard by cyber crime.
According to the survey, in East Africa, Kenya is the most attacked by cyber criminals with businesses in the country losing as much as 146 million dollars every year due to cyber crime.