Auditors say regulation of Saccos has helped tame cyber crime

Principal Secretary, State Department of Cooperatives Ishmail Abdi Noor during the official opening of the Imarika Plaza in Kilifi Town on Saturday, June 25, 2022. [Nehemiah Okwembah, Standard]

Regulation of savings and credit co-operatives (Saccos) has cut the number of cyber-attacks in the sector, auditors have said.

They noted that the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (Sasra) has worked well with the co-operatives to weed out the crime that is a headache for many financial institutions.

Frederick Ambale, managing partner and chief executive of audit firm Ogot and Company Ltd, said Sasra has helped Saccos to avert cybercrime more than general financial firms.

“Government intervenes on cybercrime in Saccos largely through Sasra and as we come for an audit, we give recommendations and Sasra makes sure they are implemented,” he said. This, he added, was not happening in general financial entities that are still victims of cybercrime since they lack a regulatory body that guides their operations.

“General companies still have a larger problem because they are not having the advantage of Saccos that are regulated and given advice directly from the State through Sasra,” Mr Ambala said.

“The general situation in the country is not good as far as cybercrime is concerned and I think we need to do better.” Saccos lost Sh106 million in 2021 to cyber theft amid increased mobile banking fraud. With this in mind, auditors and the government have called on industry players to invest in technology to stem the threat.

Mr Ambala was speaking during the official opening of the Sh500 million Imarika Plaza, the headquarters of Imarika Sacco in Kilifi town.

Mr Thomas Ongallo, an audit manager noted that with proper systems in place, Saccos were turning out to be the most preferred financial institution.

Imarika Sacco Chairman Renson Ndoro said cybercrime has been curbed after installing robust software. Sacco has 140,000 members with a Sh10 billion turnover.

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