[ISN] Nigeria: Over 25 Million Payment Cards in Nigeria At Risk

http://allafrica.com/stories/201407300373.html BY PRINCE OSUAGWU AllAfrica.com 30 JULY 2014 Unless quick measures are put in place, your digital wallet, particularly the payment cards which you so much treasure, may sadly be like the proverbial basket used to store water. If recent developments are anything to go by, only God will prevent hackers from being smarter than you. Do you know why? Microsoft server 2003 and 2003 R2, which supports the platform, will come to the end of their life circles by July 2015. This is a normal support life cycle policy for Microsoft. The implication of this expected development is that over 25 million electronic payment cards issued by 23 Nigerian banks could be at risk of malicious and targeted attacks by cyber criminals. With unconfirmed reports that banks in Nigeria, already lost N40 billion to online fraud cases in 2013 alone, when Microsoft’s extended support period for these products cuts off, next year, which means that there may not be updates and patches for combating security issues, loss of compliance and regulatory certifications for banks, vulnerability may widen. Industry practitioners have also expressed fears that the end of support period will also mean that support on applications and programmes will come to an end for any organisation, datacentre or server running this Operating System (OS) after the stipulated date. This lack of compliance, according to them, may come with a huge risk for local financial services partnership with global Payment Platforms like Visa, MasterCard among others. Meanwhile, of the 25million e-payment cards in circulation, 18 million were issued by Verve, a local card operator, which has over the years built up strategic partnerships with MasterCard and Visa, for various co-branded cards. However, all hope is not lost for organisations that are proactive. Chief Executive Officer, Wragby Business Solutions & Technologies Limited, Mr Gbenga Iluyemi, admitted that the end of Windows 2003 support life circle will impact on payment platforms that run on the Operating System, but added that it is only if they did not quickly migrate to the latest version. […]