Upperlink, a Payment Solution Service Provider (PSSP) has announced it has obtained the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS) certificate. Through this the firm is ready to own and deploy its Payment Gateway and make it ready to service retail markets across the five African countries where it operates.
According to a statement signed by the managing director and chief executive officer, Segun Akano, the firm has been a leading aggregator with the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), relying fully on the security and solid infrastructure of NIBSS alone.
Having stabilised its services with NIBSS which focuses on account-to-account transfers through which the firm have built enterprise applications for government and corporate institutions in Nigeria, “we intend to do more for Nigerians and other Africa countries with card payments which can address the needs of the retail markets”, Akano said.
Through Upperlink’s compliance with the rigorous PCI standard, customers using its payment services to route mission-critical applications “can be assured that their information security is maintained at the highest level and has been independently validated”, he added.
He reiterated that the PCIDSS certification is an attestation that the company’s process adhere to the international security standards in the payment industry, and that it maintains payment security which is a requirement for all entities that store, process or transmit cardholder data.
“We have embarked on this journey with customer protection and satisfaction in view. Our numerous clients are assured of the prevention of data breach, data privacy and security. With the PCIDSS, we have consolidated our position in the electronic collection and electronic payment space across the sub-Saharan Africa”, he said.
The PCIDSS is a set of industry-mandated requirements for any business that handles, processes, or stores branded cards types from the major card schemes. It was developed to protect consumers and their data whenever and wherever they make online payments.The security requirements is maintained by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, which was founded in 2006 by American Express, Discover, JCB International, MasterCard and Visa Inc. The standard applies to any organization that stores, transmits or accepts cardholder data.
Akano explained that by complying with the arduous requirements of PCIDSS, Upperlink provides its customers with an independent and industry-accepted security review of processes, policies, and infrastructure and software development methodology.
“We are happy and ready to serve our customers from our fully PCIDSS compliant infrastructure. The team have put in an enormous work to achieve this capability. It gives us the capacity to serve our customers excellently. It is a proof that we are providing the most secure and reliable payments services to meet their business and individual needs,” Akano said.
PCI compliance has six core objectives. These include to build and maintain a secure network, protect cardholder’s data, maintain a vulnerability management programme, implement strong access control measures, regularly monitor and test networks and maintain an information security policy.
These objectives are maintained through a set of strict regulations merchants and payment service providers must follow to collect and transfer credit card information. Upperlink guarantees all of the set objectives to deliver.
Access Bank Launches Awareness Campaign to Combat E-banking Fraud
As part of its continued commitment to educate and protect customers from e-banking fraud, Africa’s largest retail bank, Access Bank Plc, has launched an awareness campaign aimed at sensitizing customers on measures they can take to protect themselves.
The campaign, themed ‘Banks Don’t Ask’, focuses on three key activities that account for most fraud incidents in Nigeria, phishing, SIM card fraud, ATM fraud and POS fraud.
From all indications, the rates of phishing, SIM card fraud, ATM fraud and POS fraud in the country has tripled in the past few years. Also, the sophistication with which these activities are carried out has evolved, resulting in unsuspecting customers being highly susceptible to these criminal activities.
Victor Etuokwu, ED Retail Banking stated, “In the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the rate of internet-based and technology-perpetrated fraud”. He added “We want to ensure that our customers are not only protected but are also aware of the tactics employed by fraudsters. Access Bank will never request for personal banking information such as your 16-digit card number, password, PIN, BVN, CVV or One-Time Password (OTP). So, customers are also advised to never share this information with anyone even if they claim to be from the Bank”.
ZwartTech Launches Cybersecurity Arm to Provide Comprehensive Digital Protection to Businesses
ZwartTech, a social impact startup that connects businesses with vetted software experts in Africa, has launched a cybersecurity arm to provide comprehensive digital protection to entities including businesses, startups and governments.
Tagged Zwart Cyber, the new arm will offer safety and upkeep of prospective clients enterprise networks, systems connected devices, clouds and databases.
Cybersecurity is now on the front burner in today’s digital world as more and more organisations are experiencing breaches and expending billions of dollars to protect their network.
Worldwide spending on information security and risk management technology and services is forecast to grow 12.4% to reach $150.4 billion in 2021, according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc. Security and risk management spending grew 6.4% in 2020.
Gartner pegged growth in spending across all areas of security, including applications, the cloud, data, identity access management, infrastructure protection, integrated risk management, network security equipment, security services and consumer security software. But the largest beneficiary will be security services with spending on hardware support, implementation, and outsourced services reaching almost $72.5 billion this year.
Commenting on the launch of ZwartCyber, the CEO/founder of ZwartTech, Nelson Tosin Ajulo said: “Data breaches and third-party cyber risks have become prevalent. 300,000 thousand new pieces of malware are created every day. These are designed to steal data and include spyware, adware, Trojans and viruses.
“Additionally, with many people working remotely, it further increases the risks of any organisation’s security apparatus being compromised. This is why we are launching a cybersecurity arm to offer the best digital security for startups, businesses and government at the most affordable price.”
Ajulo adds: “We are already running a pilot in the Netherlands and we are looking to launch in Nigeria and other parts of Africa early next year. The feedback has been encouraging so far and we hope that ZwartCyber will become the go-to cybersecurity firm soon.”
Security Professionals Seek Synergy, Policy Advocacy for Improved Practice
Professional security practitioners under the auspices of ASIS International advocated for convergence of interventions and vital policy advocacy as keys to revolutionizing security practice and improving the standards within the industry in Nigeria.
Speaking recently at the Lagos ASIS Chapter 206 retreat and leadership conference at Epe, Lagos State, the Chapter Chairman, Mr. Peter Okoloh affirmed the need for industry-wide collaboration that will result in coherent articulation of a security blueprint that can be presented to the government for improved security in the country.
“Driving quality and excellence within the security industry requires knowledge and leadership. That is why it is very important at this point for us to strategically situate cyber and physical security convergence in moving forward as an industry. Secondly, we should also look at the possibility of developing a private security industry profile that will help us to lobby at the National Assembly for standardization.”
According to the Group Managing Director of Halogen Group, Mr. Wale Olaoye, there is no better time for the private security industry in Nigeria to seek standardization of their practice than now. He noted that collaboration and knowledge sharing are key to achieving the much-desired excellence in the industry. “Collaborative engagement should be looked into by private security service providers to enable the industry to achieve practice standardization. Also, competencies, new capabilities and proper regulations in Nigeria are strategic to accelerating the private security practice to global standards”, Olaoye said.
In her contribution, Mrs Tanwa Ashiru, Founder, Bulwark Intelligence described the retreat as a very productive knowledge-sharing platform capable of catapulting the industry to its desired height. She also opined that technology has become an indispensable tool for solving security issues.
The retreat which took place at the Jubilee Chalet, Epe, attracted notable leaders within the Nigerian Security industry like Major Gen. A.O. Shodunke (Rtd); Lagos State former Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, Mr. Olisa Ogwuadi, CEO Mc Don Group; Mr David Akhimen, Executive Chairman, King David Group among many others.
Dr. Wale Adeagbo, Chairman of the organizing committee of the leadership conference noted that discussions topics such as New Leadership Paradigms for security in an open world, Enterprise Security Risk Management, digitization and cyber solutioning, bridging service delivery gaps, and exceeding the Client’s expectation in today’s challenging and fast-evolving threat landscape, discussed at the retreat, are fundamental to achieving the wholesale transformation of the private security practice space in Nigeria.
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