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‘Cyber Connect 2024’ concludes inspiring solutions for tomorrow’s cybersecurity challenges

KATHMANDU: Cyber Connect 2024, a groundbreaking cybersecurity event, has been concluded in Kathmandu on Thursday, bringing together leading experts and thought leaders to explore cutting-edge developments, challenges, and solutions in the realm of cybersecurity.

The event was organised jointly by Genese Solution – a value IT consulting firm, and Nepal Bankers’ Association (NBA), with AWS Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the title sponsor.

Director of Genese Solution, Sri Prasad Bhandari, welcomed the participants while Coordinator of the ISO Committee, Prabesh Poudel, , highlighted the objectives of the event.

A distinguished cyber security expert, Niranjan Kunwar, spearheaded a thought-provoking discussion on Quantum Computing and its implications for cybersecurity. His insights illuminated the audience on the evolving threatscape and the imperative for innovative defenses.

Caroline Soo, Vice President of Customer Success at KnowBe4, APJ, delivered a captivating presentation titled “How our Thoughts and Actions can be hacked and hijacked”. The presentation shed light on the psychological dimensions of cybersecurity highlighting the need for heightened awareness and resilience in the face of modern-day threats.

The event continued with Abhinav Saxena, head of Commercial Sales, North India and Nepal, Palo Alto Networks, addressing the crucial topic, “Securing a Resilient Financial Services Enterprise”. His expertise provided invaluable perspectives on safeguarding critical infrastructure in an increasingly digitized financial landscape.

A panel discussion on “Cyber Risk Management” served as the focal point of the event, with experts delving into the unique landscape of cybersecurity in Nepal. The discussion was conducted by the session moderator Hempal Shrestha. The key speakers in the panel discussion included Sujit Shrestha, Chief Technology & Operations Officer, Standard Chartered Bank Nepal Ltd, Vivek Rana, Director, Nepal Bank Ltd., Abhinav Saxena of Palo Alto Networks, and Neelesh Man Pradhan, CEO, Nepal Clearing House Ltd (NCHL). The panelists explored emerging threats, regulatory frameworks, and the pivotal role of cybersecurity solutions in mitigating risks and safeguarding digital assets.

“We’re investing in machines and not in people and how will the core banking combat the future risks of cyberthreats integrating itself into one big entity?” asked Vivek Rana.

Nilesh Man Pradhan of the NCHL said, “The commitment we’ve given as a scope of the NPS project and with the initiation of a multi-entity based application, it can provide Banks with the fraud risk safeguard mechanism as a service from NCHL”.

The panel discussion ended with the conclusion that the regulatory policies regarding cyber security are still in their nascent stage and there is a huge void in terms of security collaborations amidst the industries in Nepal.

In his closing remarks, Anjani Phuyal, CEO of Genese Solution, summarised the key takeaways and highlighted the importance of collective efforts in fortifying cybersecurity resilience.

“We must not forget how a Bank was affected by Cyber Threat in 2016 in Bangladesh, and similarly a Bank in India was adversely impacted in 2018,” said Phuyal highlighting the critical significance of Cybersecurity in the Banking and Financial Sector.

Kapil Gautam, Senior Research Officer at Nepal Bankers’ Association thanked all for their participation and constructive engagement.

Cyber Connect 2024 exemplified a convergence of expertise, innovation, and collaboration, paving the way for a more secure digital future. As organisations navigate an increasingly complex threat landscape, events like Cyber Connect serve as vital platforms for knowledge exchange, strategic insights, and forging partnerships to address evolving cybersecurity challenges, the organisers said.

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