A few months ago, I received an innocent email from a C-level executive. Intrigued, I clicked a link within it, only to discover it was a planned phishing attack orchestrated by our compliance team. Failing the test, I had to attend an informational session on phishing and identity fraud.
When a similar email arrived recently, I approached it cautiously—an evident impact of our internal process. Here’s a breakdown of a robust compliance framework you can implement to meet your regulatory compliance targets internally and externally.
Regulatory Compliance and Risk Assessment
The regulatory landscape in Africa is dynamic, with bodies like the NCC (Nigerian Communications Commission) and NDPC (Nigeria Data Protection Commission) introducing frequent policy changes. The NCC, for instance, adjusts guidelines regularly, such as altering age limits for registration. The NDPC also instituted the Data Protection Act, emphasising data security measures with regular seminars and assessments that ensure compliance.
Moreover, there’s active vigilance against cyber threats. For instance, the NDPC alerted companies to potential attacks, advocating for DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) protection – a cybercrime that floods servers with traffic to prevent access to online services and sites.
At Verified.africa, our compliance team actively monitors dashboards, swiftly addressing infractions related to industry regulations. We conduct quarterly vulnerability assessments and penetration testing to rectify platform weaknesses promptly. Our incident and problem management process ensures timely resolution of issues. Embracing a security-by-design approach, we embed security measures from project initiation to development to prevent cyber threats.
Chiamaka Anangor, Compliance manager at Seamfix, advises: “Understanding your industry’s regulatory landscape is crucial. Familiarise yourself with the guidelines and establish a robust cybersecurity team to monitor vulnerabilities proactively.”
Balance Identity Verification with User Experience
Verified.africa implements Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and biometric verification to improve the accuracy and security of our onboarding protocols. We validate every customer and employee’s identity before conducting business with them. Our verification process is so seamless it removes all difficulties and complications for the end user, most times without involving them.
The key is educating customers about the importance of these steps during registration. Consent forms are provided to customers, outlining the purpose and limitations of data collection. This is why continuous training is vital as new employees and partners join our systems each week. So, we regularly conduct employee training sessions like phishing exercises and knowledge development sessions (KDS) to equip them to combat evolving threats and improve their ability to prevent future incidents.
Externally, we train client agents on data protection, privacy, and product usage weekly. We offer guidance on responsible platform utilisation, proactively enhancing our products to align with NCC guidelines and international standards like ISO 27001.
Chiamaka Anangor explains: “Consider the customer’s experience, particularly in ID verification and KYC services. The process seamlessly occurs for banks verifying new customers without direct engagement as they share the customer details for validation with us.
The most delicate process might occur during account opening or SIM swaps. Even then, the steps—data collection, form completion, biometric capture, and ID validation—unfold swiftly as we confirm records from government databases in seconds, enabling a rapid and efficient registration process.”
Proactive Measures and Continous Improvement
To ensure the safety of sensitive information, you need to implement robust data protection measures, encompassing encryption, access controls, and monthly security audits. You can also maintain an updated Incident Response Plan for swift action during security breaches.
Furthermore, nurture a culture of perpetual enhancement by regularly revisiting policies and actively engaging in industry forums to share insights and gather intelligence on emerging threats.
Chiamaka shared what this culture looks like for her: “Artificial intelligence intrigues me deeply as fraudsters leverage AI to recreate human-like movements, deceiving our engines during live capture. The ability to mimic an individual’s likeness and movement using AI is baffling and concerning. So, I follow NDPC and industry certification bodies like PECB, BSI, and CPG on LinkedIn for their seminars and webinars on data privacy and security control measures.
Additionally, I’m a member of the Compliance Institute of Nigeria, attending their bimonthly sessions featuring guest speakers covering various aspects of compliance, anti-money laundering, KYC, and identity management. I strive to stay updated because what is relevant today may quickly become obsolete tomorrow.”
Verified.africa’s Commitment to Compliance and Fraud Prevention
Whether you want to tighten your sim registration process or secure account openings and transactions, use this framework to strengthen your defences against identity fraud and meet regulatory compliance.
Verified.africa offers a comprehensive suite of AI-powered KYC solutions that seamlessly connect businesses with genuine customers, facilitating secure and efficient onboarding. It’s not just about compliance; it’s about building a foundation of trust and security.
Your customers deserve a process that feels like a breeze, and we ensure that from start to finish, the verification journey is as seamless as possible. Contact us for personalized insights and explore how Verified.africa can assist in compliance and establish a secure and swift KYC process for your customers. We don’t just offer solutions; we’re here for ongoing support and collaboration.