Development of an Actionable Cybersecurity Risk Management Framework for DFS

January 18, 2021

Development of an Actionable Cybersecurity Risk Management Framework for Digital Financial Services in the Developing World: Overall Approach

January 2021

Bowie, K  and Wechsler, M  and Perlman, L 


Digital Financial Services (DFS) -- also known as ‘mobile money’ due to the use of cellular phones as the primary access mechanism to financial services -- have been launched around the world to achieve the financial inclusion of previously ‘unbanked’ people. They are a pivotal component for developing a digital economy in developing countries, an aspirational environment contributing to societal productivity, education, and health.

Cost centers, such as cybersecurity, present substantial financial challenges to low- and middle-income countries. Compromises result in the presence of generally lower levels of cyber maturity, reputational concerns surrounding compliance, and the difficult challenge of balancing financial integrity with financial inclusion. The key to finding an equilibrium is the enhancement of cybersecurity. The stumbling block is access to the means to identify, understand, and rapidly respond to these risks.

This paper addresses how to develop and undertake a strategy towards a model cybersecurity risk management approach which provides the means to address the aforementioned problem. We describe within a potential solution – an actionable risk management framework for cybersecurity which also accounts for the presence of several significantly different maturity levels of entities found within the DFS ecosystem

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