Financial institutions to publish bank-specific cyber security policies

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr Ernest Addison, who announced this on Wednesday, said the Financial Institutions would also be required to implement an integrated approach by adopting enterprise-wide frameworks of cyber risk management in line with business objectives.

Dr Addison said this in a speech read on his behalf at the first summit on digital banking and cyber security organised by Standard Chartered Bank.

The summit brings together cyber security experts to share experiences and examine critical issues on digital banking and its associated cyber security risks and how to counter cyber threats in the industry.

Dr Addison said the Central Bank would continue to exercise firm oversight of the payment system, monitor risks associated with digital innovation and develop appropriate regulatory responses without stifling innovation.


He said while digitization of banking operations had engineered innovative financial products and expanded the scope of financial services alongside improved payments and settlement systems, the growth of technology-driven electronic payments are also associated with cyber related risks such as insecure card data systems and identity theft.


It is in this direction that the Bank has prepared a banking sector Cyber and Information Security guidelines to protect consumers and create a safer environment for online and e-payments products.

Among others, the guidelines seek to create a secure environment for transactions within the cyberspace and guarantee trust and confidence in ICT systems.It also provides an assurance framework for the design of security policies in compliance to global security standards and best practices by way of cyber and information security assessments, and protect banks, customers and clients against the potentially devastating consequences of cyber-attacks.

Dr Addison said an integrated approach to cyber security management would support financial institutions achieve both business and security focused objectives, as well as regulatory compliance in an efficient and effective way.

However, he said, regulatory compliance by itself is not cyber security; adding that the onus lies on banks to examine the state of their security systems, identify gaps and design appropriate mechanisms to counter possible cyber threats.“Today’s world is completely different from a decade ago as changes in information and communication technology increase exponentially. Consequently, financial institutions need to undertake cyber security-related due diligence and assessments, identify proper detective controls, and enforce third party and insider risk programmes,” he said.

Business, technology, internet and networking concept. Young bus

Mrs Mansa Nettey, Chief Executive Officer Standard Chartered Bank Ghana, said advances in technology had ushered in new challenges and threats, including cybercrime.“All organisations, which have adopted digitisation, increasingly have to deal with these threats which are becoming sophisticated. What is even more alarming is that the rate of advancement seems to have outpaced developments in cyber security,” she said.

She said it was unfortunate that regulation of cyber security was not harmonised and was not developing as fast, leading individual organisations to try their own solutions to cyber threats. Continued here the remaining article


Virtual healthcare has to be understood and used for what it can offer

Among the many offshoots of the growth of technology; virtual healthcare is a very recent and important development. In simple language, virtual healthcare, a term easy enough to understand, is the use of technologies that enable remote consultation and monitoring of healthcare.

Putting technologies to remote use has been in use for a while now, what with corporate entities carrying out conferences and virtual conferences at the push of a button. Virtual technology has also been in widespread use in areas like education and for monitoring remote workers in many organizations. Virtual healthcare can be seen as a natural extension of these uses of technology.


Understanding the dynamics of virtual healthcare

Healthcare analysts are quite upbeat about the growth prospects of virtual healthcare, making prognoses about its explosive potential growth, with estimates ranging from a size of well over $3 billion by 2022 to much rosier, nearly $14 billion for video consultation alone by 2018. While time will tell whether these forecasts will be fulfilled, we need to understand this tool and its prospects and pitfalls.

When adapting virtual healthcare, patients and healthcare providers are likely to use virtual healthcare in these ways:


This should rank as the most important element of virtual healthcare. Virtual healthcare itself would come to be of no use if it did not offer the patient the opportunity to interact with the patient remotely. Patients are likely to use technologies in the form of tablets, smartphones and other personal devices to consult physicians.

virtualHealthcareConsultation is a very important component of virtual healthcare and it goes beyond just obtaining billing and other information that is usually a part of an Electronic Health Record (EHR). Virtual healthcare aids in direct, non-physical contact between the patient and the healthcare provider, which is what this medium primarily seeks to facilitate.

This feature is all the more useful in situations where the patient may not be in a condition to travel to the healthcare provider or where patients with long-term ailments need to be monitored on a regular basis without having to visit the hospital.



EHR could be another major component of virtual healthcare. Following the passage and implementation of Obamacare; the EHR has become a very important document for people seeking healthcare. Virtual healthcare can bring in a new dimension to EHR by enabling documentation and recording of important events in the physician-patient relationship.

Drawbacks of virtual healthcare

While there is no doubting the fact that virtual healthcare is set for major growth; it is important to understand its inadequacies. The most important disadvantage of virtual healthcare is that it is best suited only for noncritical healthcare situations. It may help patients with long term ailments, as mentioned above, but can help only when the patient has reached a stage where all treatments are done and only resuscitation or convalescence is needed. For a patient requiring immediate attention in an emergency, virtual healthcare is not likely to be very effective. Thus, a patient seeking medical information or advice for a viral infection is far more suited for virtual healthcare than a patient in need of CPR.

The uses to which virtual healthcare can be put are limited, at least at this stage of its development. When this technology advances enough to be able to offer healthcare in all situations and for all kinds of ailments; it will become a more effective medium. Till then, virtual healthcare has to be understood and used for what it can offer.

Australian government considers approach to cybersecurity

The Australian government considers itself to be “world-leading” when it comes to cybersecurity, with Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor telling ZDNet that Australia has the opportunity to extend its global lead to create a thriving local industry.

“You talk to other countries and we have a chance here to lead the world, it’s very exciting not just so we can protect ourselves but so we can grow an industry,” he said on Wednesday.

“I don’t think anyone’s where they wanted to be, we’re all still facing risks, but I think we’re in a great position I think now to deal with these risks at a speed and with a level of collaboration that very few other countries have.”

To Taylor, it’s important to keep abreast of the threat landscape as it changes, noting also that it helps the country has a leader in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that understands technology.


“I think one of the reasons why we are arguably leading the world is that we have a prime minister who actually understands that, which is I think pretty much unique,” he told ZDNet. “For me personally that is a huge help because it means I can have a detailed discussion with him about Intel chips, and he understands.”

The newly minted cyber minister drew on his time as the minister overseeing digital transformation to discuss the current approach to cybersecurity the government has, commenting that it’s important to ensure departments and agencies aren’t further creating silos for dealing with threats.

“There is a risk  I’m acutely conscious of that, and I’m acutely conscious of that because I hear people say this to me all the time,” Taylor said. “We can’t let that happen.

“The key in cyber, like most areas, is speed and that means you’ve got to share information in a collaborative way.”

While the government has determined a need to share and created a handful of avenues to do so, it doesn’t exactly have a way to measure such information sharing.

“It’s very easy to see afterwards,” Taylor said in response to a question asking how to ensure cross-department collaboration. “This is something I’m adamant about and we do need to share. It doesn’t mean you have to share sources, but you have to share the information people have to act on.”

Continue with out interruption click here

Good Documentation Practices Relating to USP

Good Documentation Practices (GDP) is a quintessential part of regulated manufacturing and laboratory environments. GDP has to be adhered to in the regulated industries because it is the only truly authentic method of ensuring that documents are audited and accounted for. GDP is also essential to keep track of and maintain control at all stages of the process and the product. GDP is thus a core requirement of a thoroughly developed Quality System.

US Pharmacopeia (USP) has laid out a series of GDP’s. One of the major new updates is contained in the newly proposed USP-NF General Chapter <1029>.

Basis for GDP in USPGDP for USP is also formulated on the same principle and rationale on which any GDP is built: proper, accurate and comprehensive records are the backbone to proper documentation, which is the basis for all major and minor procedures and operation.

GDP for USP has guidelines in the General Chapter 1029. These guidelines are given with the intention of helping build a foundation for the Quality Systems, apart from also ensuring the integrity and control of documents.

These GDP’s are meant for use in the production and control of the following:

  • Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs)
  • Medical devices
  • Excipients
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Dietary supplements
  • Food ingredients

The General Chapter explains the justification for putting in place Good Documentation Practices in USP and helps the user evaluate and construct GMP activities.

In what areas are GDP’s listed out in Chapter 1029?GDP’s for USP are mentioned in relation to electronic and paper records, which include reports, raw data, protocol, and procedures concerning analytical data and manufacturing controls, and has recommendations on the kind of information that should be recorded for different kinds of documents that require GMP. A prominent amendment brought into the new chapter 1029 is that there is no longer a distinction between instructions and records, and all records and instructions are broadly merged into “records”.

Some broad requirements of GDP as set out in Chapter 1029USP Good Documentation Practices spell out a number of principles. Some of these include:

  • There should be clarity, accuracy, conciseness and legality of records
  • Every time an action is performed, there should be a documentation
  • Anyone dealing with documents should not backdate or postdate any action
  • The initial of the person who carried out a change should attest her initials and offer an explanation whenever an amendment is made

Electronic or manual records should go by the following GDP’s:

  • Any data entry should be traced back to the person who did the entry
  • Shorthand notations are not allowed
  • Controls should be put in place to ensure integrity of the record
  • When a thermal paper is used, a verified copy of its accuracy should be retained, and the user should initial it with the date

Millions Of Americans Binge-Drink Regularly

If you’re recovering from St. Patrick’s Day festivities, the results of a new study from the CDC may make you think twice about doing it again. The paper finds that people in the U.S. consume over 17 billion drinks per year during binges—that is, excluding all the regular drinking that people do. Although other substances, like opioids, sometimes take the spotlight, heavy alcohol use has been increasing in recent years, and is at least as much of a concern, given all the health risks it poses, and the underlying problems that may trigger it.

“This study shows that binge drinkers are consuming a huge number of drinks per year, greatly increasing their chances of harming themselves and others,” said study co-author and lead researcher in CDC’s alcohol program Robert Brewer, in a statement. “The findings also show the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to prevent binge drinking, focusing on reducing both the number of times people binge drink and the amount they drink when they binge.”

The team, publishing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, looked over data from interviews of more than 400,000 people across the U.S. Among other things, they were asked how often they drank over the past month, and how much during each session. Binge drinking was defined as four or more drinks per occasion for women, and five or more for men. Then the team calculated how much occurred over the year, on average.


They extrapolated that 37 million, or one in six, people in the country binge-drink at some point. On average, those who had bingeing episodes did it about once a week, and consumed about seven drinks in each occasion. And again, the grand total for 2015 was about 17.5 billion drinks consumed in binges.

Men were much more likely to binge-drink than women. The states with the highest levels of binge drinking were Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Hawaii. Those where the least occurred were Washington, DC; New Jersey; New York; and Washington State.

Drinking in general has been rising in recent years—it sometimes gets eclipsed by the opioid crisis, but alcohol consumption, particularly heavy drinking, has been rising steadily. Which is telling about the mental health of the country. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that high-risk drinking rose by about 30% over a 10-year period. And alcohol use disorders also rose, especially for women, Hispanic and African-American individuals, and older people.
Further to continue

Suddenly it happens in Florida

Six to 10 people were killed when a newly erected pedestrian bridge spanning several lanes of traffic collapsed at Florida International University on Thursday, US Senator Bill Nelson of Florida told local TV station CBS Miami.

Eight vehicles were trapped in the wreckage of the 950-ton bridge and eight people have been transported to hospitals, officials told a news conference.

Emergency personnel with sniffer dogs searched for signs of life amid the wreckage of concrete, twisted metal and that rained from the collapsed structure and crushed vehicles on one of the busiest roads in South Florida.

The Florida Highway Patrol previously said several people were killed but did not release a figure on fatalities.


At one point, police had requested television helicopters to leave the area so rescuers could hear for any sounds of people crying for help from beneath the collapsed structure, the Miami TV station said.

Complicating the rescue effort was the uncertainty about the integrity of the bridge, parts of which remained off the ground, much of it inclined, local media reported.

The bridge connects the university with the city of Sweetwater and was installed on Saturday in six hours over the eight-lane highway, according to a story that was posted on the university’s website. It was 174 feet (53 m) long and weighed 950 tons.

The bridge was intended to provide a walkway over southwest Eighth Street, one of the busiest roads in South Florida. An 18-year-old female FIU student from San Diego was killed while trying to cross the street last August, according to local media reports.

Students at FIU are currently on their spring break vacation, which runs from March 12 to March 17.

Television footage showed firefighters were walking across the flattened wreckage and medics treating injured people. Emergency personnel appeared to be trying to work their way through a hole in the top of the bridge.

Continuation for this

Brain back-up start-up ‘will be the death of users’

Nectome has said it will one day be capable of scanning the human brain and preserving it, perhaps running a deceased person’s mind as a computer simulation.

However, its current process requires a fresh brain.

The product is “100% fatal”, the team behind it told MIT Technology Review.

The company is backed by Y Combinator, an organisation that picks a group of new companies each year to fund and mentor in the hope they receive major funding further down the line.

According to the company’s website, Nectome claims it will one day be possible to survey the brain’s connectome – the neural connections within the brain – to such a detailed degree that it will be able to reconstruct a person’s memories even after they have died.

“Imagine a world where you can successfully map and pinpoint a specific memory within your brain,” the site reads.

“Today’s leading neuroscience research suggests that it is possible by preserving your connectome.”


Grant money

Nectome will be part of Y Combinator’s demo days next week – an event where start-ups pitch their new companies to an audience of investors and journalists.

Previous Y Combinator firms include Dropbox and AirBnB.

The firm is also backed by a $960,000 (£687,000) grant from the US National Institute of Mental Health, which said it saw a “commercial opportunity” in brain preservation.

According to MIT Technology Review, the team has consulted lawyers familiar with California’s relatively new laws on dignified end-of-life measures.

The company plans to focus on working with terminally ill people in the testing phase.

The company uses an embalming process to preserve minute details of the brain in microscopic detail.

Its work won a prize for furthering the field of brain preservation when it tried the method on a rabbit.

Taking that further, the team said it had already attempted its technique on a just-deceased woman in Portland, Oregon.

However, even a delay of just a couple of hours meant the brain was already badly damaged, it said.

The next stage is to find someone planning to die via doctor-assisted suicide.

To continue the link for you here