Enhancing digital access and inclusion for SMEs in the financial services industry through Cybersecurity GRC: A pathway to safer digital ecosystems

Authors

  • Adedamola Oluokun Independent Researcher, Toronto, Canada
  • Courage Idemudia Independent Researcher, London Ontario, Canada
  • Toluwalase Vanessa Iyelolu Financial Analyst, Texas, USA

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51594/csitrj.v5i7.1277

Abstract

This research paper explores the enhancement of digital access and inclusion for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the financial services industry by implementing Cybersecurity Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) frameworks. It begins by analyzing the current state of digital access for SMEs, highlighting the significant benefits of digital transformation, including operational efficiencies, enhanced customer experiences, and new market opportunities. The paper identifies key barriers to digital access, such as cybersecurity risks, regulatory compliance challenges, financial constraints, and the lack of digital expertise. The study then reviews existing initiatives aimed at enhancing digital access for SMEs, including government programs, industry collaborations, cybersecurity awareness and training efforts, and fintech solutions. The paper argues that while these initiatives are beneficial, they often fail without a comprehensive GRC framework to address underlying security and compliance issues. A detailed conceptual model is proposed, comprising digital strategy and planning, a robust cybersecurity framework, effective governance and compliance practices, proactive risk management, continuous training and awareness, technological innovation, and collaboration and partnerships. Each component systematically addresses the identified barriers and facilitates a safer, more inclusive digital ecosystem for SMEs. The implementation of this model is outlined in four phases: initiation, implementation, operational, and evaluation, ensuring a structured approach to digital transformation. The paper concludes with recommendations for SMEs to adopt this model, emphasizing the importance of stakeholder engagement, resource allocation, and continuous evaluation.

Keywords: Digital Transformation, SMEs, Cybersecurity, GRC, Financial Services, Digital Access.

Published

2024-07-07

How to Cite

Adedamola Oluokun, Courage Idemudia, & Toluwalase Vanessa Iyelolu. (2024). Enhancing digital access and inclusion for SMEs in the financial services industry through Cybersecurity GRC: A pathway to safer digital ecosystems. Computer Science & IT Research Journal, 5(7), 1576-1604. https://doi.org/10.51594/csitrj.v5i7.1277

Issue

Section

Articles