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SAMA Governor: Cybersecurity Greatest Challenge to Future Banking Sector

SAMA Governor: Cybersecurity Greatest Challenge to Future Banking Sector

Thursday, 25 April, 2019 - 12:00
Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority Ahmed bin Abdul Karim Al-Kholifey. (Reuters)
Riyadh - Asharq Al-Awsat
Despite activated firewalls and state-of-the-art digital security programs, financial officials and experts have placed cyber-attacks at the top of the list when it comes to threats facing central banks.

Bank systems, until this very day, do not enjoy full-immunity against such attacks, officials and financial experts said.

The Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) Ahmed bin Abdul Karim Al-Kholifey corroborated the notion, stating that cyber-attacks will pose the “greatest threat” to central bank governors in the future.

Speaking with a focus on sustainable risk-management, Kholifey pointed to Saudi efforts on maintaining up-to-date banking security systems. On the Kingdom’s payment system, he said it is one of the most advanced in the region.

“We are trying to be advanced in technology, and we use digital technology to strengthen banking services, so that they are flexible and fast ... There is a big change on issuing and speed of processing licenses. We made the system more open,” he said.

On challenges and opportunities facing the insurance sector, Kholifey disclosed that health and car insurance accounted for 80 percent of the total deductibles volume in the Kingdom.

Appeal for other types of coverage, such as home insurance, has been much less. Saying that the insurance industry has high prospects for growth, he pointed out that awareness needs to be raised.

Of the many overlooked insurance services are those relating to real-estate, engineering, marine and life.

Commenting on the matter, Kholifey said: “There is a great market opportunity, we would like to see more foreign companies invest in insurance.”

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