JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Innovation brings more opportunities to all stakeholders and also present challenges like cyber threats which require concerted efforts to combat, said the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on Tuesday.
The Deputy governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Francois Groepe, said this at the Innovation and Cybersecurity Conference in Johannesburg.
"Innovation generally leads to the expansion of markets and greater efficiencies and could potentially result in lower costs for the end user of financial products and/or services," said Groepe.
"Exponential technology has the ability to threaten the survival of firms that are highly successful today, even if they spend large amounts on innovation initiatives," said Groepe.
He stated that financial institutions must keep pace with what is happening in the technological sphere if they are to remain relevant and are to survive.
"As financial institutions and infrastructure service providers evolve to keep up with the pace of technological change, sophisticated cybercriminals continue to target banking and payment systems, with the potential to disrupt their operations and potentially cause harm to the broader financial system and even the entire economy," he said.
He pointed out that cyber-threats may also undermine innovation just like technological progress and innovation that increase cyber-risk.
All role players should share information about emerging types of cyber-threats and cyber attacks facing the financial ecosystem, he said.
"It is thus essential that these kinds of risks are well understood and that all financial institutions and market infrastructures are secured against cyber attacks," he said.
"The financial services industry should strive to have cyber security practices in place that are agile and responsive to emerging cyberspace activities and developments," he added.
The three-day conference will discuss risk management practices, controls and defense mechanisms that the financial sector should adopt to deal with these cyber-threats and cyber attacks. They will also discuss innovations, cyber security trends, challenges and opportunities.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' 21st CEO Survey, cyber-threats and the speed of technological change are top challenges which keep chief executive officers awake at night.