Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans Company Limited, a leading non-banking financial institution in Ghana, has received ISO 27001 certification per the central bank's directive to financial institutions to enhance cyber and information security.
This makes it the first Ghanaian savings and loans company to obtain the certification to improve its Information Security Management Systems.
Mr Degraft Agyapong, Head of Cyber and Information Security, Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, told the media in Kumasi on Friday, that the company made a frantic effort to safeguard its data and improve customer confidence in the company hence the attainment of this feat.
He explained that Sinapi Aba Savings and Loan's certification followed Bank of Ghana's directive that financial institutions must meet the international standardization of being ISO compliant in the wake of the banking sector challenges in recent years.
It would be recalled that many players in the financial sector were affected by the regulator's unprecedented financial sector clean-up exercise.
ISO 27001 structures how businesses should manage risk associated with information security threats, policies, procedures and training for information security threats.
Impact on business
According to Mr Agyapong, by obtaining certification in ISO 27001, organizations had the opportunity to prove credibility and show customers that the organisation was working according to recognized best practices.
This credibility is often a deciding factor, giving the certified organization a competitive advantage on the financial market.
It means customers data and information are given maximum security and priority of protection.
The Head of Cyber and Information Security said ISO 27001 was recognized all around the world as it increased business opportunities for organizations and professionals.
He explained that the standard provided companies with the necessary know-how for protecting their most valuable information, "but the company in this way proves to its customers and partners that it safeguards their data."
As technology is developed and improved, so does the increased need for information security.
As a result, many businesses like Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans have resolved to continuously vote funds for security investment to maintain appropriate security controls, levels of risk and data sensitivity.
ISO 27001 which is published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), in partnership with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is the leading international standard compliance and focuses on information security.
ISO-27001 is part of a set of standards developed to handle information security as it provides a framework to help organisations of any size or any industry protect their information systematically and cost-effectively by adopting an Information Security Management System (ISMS).
The standard contains information security guidelines and requirements intended to protect an organisation's data assets from loss or unauthorized access and recognised its commitment to information security management through certification.
It includes a risk assessment process, organisational structure, information classification, access control mechanisms, physical and technical safeguards, information security policies, procedures, monitoring and reporting guidelines.