No BD bank ready to face sudden data centre collapse

Posted by BankInfo on Mon, Jul 24 2017 09:54 am

No bank in Bangladesh is ready to recover from a sudden data centre collapse due to natural calamities while most not even capable of turning around instantly from a major digital shutdown, a survey finds.  

The stunning revelation was made Sunday at a workshop on cyber-threat readiness of banks, based on a recent industry-wide study on the state of cyber-security of banks in Bangladesh.

No BD bank ready to face sudden data centre collapseBangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) organised the workshop in the capital, where the event of Bangladesh Bank's reserve stealing by an international gang of hackers and its aftermath came up prominently.

"Only 20 banks out of 56 have the capacity to recover from a major shutdown like corruption of database and storage-or data-centre damage caused by fire," said Abul Kashem Md. Shirin, Managing Director and CEO of Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited.

"Meanwhile, there is not a single bank which can recover from Data Centre or near Data Centre collapse due to earthquake, flood or cyclone," he cautioned, on the basis of the results of the industry-wide research.

The findings show that while all the banks in the country are ready to overcome any simple breakdown caused by the malfunctioning of server, network equipment or UPS, majority of them are not capable of tackling any major cyber-threat.

The workshop also identified various dimensions of threats or forgeries that can occur within the space of mobile financial services, ATM, Point of Sales (PoS), e-commerce or credit and debit card.

"One good example of such threat is rampant digital hundi through MFS which resulted in 17 per cent fall in remittance last year," Shirin said.  

"In addition, card cloning, ATM skimming and e-commerce-related frauds are also becoming quite prevalent, which can be a cause of major headache for the banking industry," he added.

The DBBL Managing Director, however, finds a blessing in disguise for the bankers in Bangladesh. He said as the Bangladeshi Taka (BDT) is non-convertible, the country is not quite attractive to the hackers for targeting banks and financial entities.

"That is why Bangladesh has witnessed relatively few instances of financial cyber-crime, although SWIFT is a 'hole' through which attackers can transfer US Dollar."   

Focusing on the global scenario of cyber-crime, it was informed in the workshop that around one billion accounts and records were compromised around the world in 2016 while the total cost of ransomware attacks during the year was US$ 1.0 billion.

"It is estimated that cyber-crime damages will cost US$ 6.0 trillion globally by 2021 from US$ 3.0 trillion back in 2015," said Amirul I. Chowdhury, CEO of Trans IT Solution.

Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir, who attended the event as chief guest, said the central bank is currently emphasizing the establishment of comprehensive IT governance and IT risk-management frameworks.

Referring to the US$ 81 million central bank heist last year, the BB Governor said the event was a severe wakeup call for the entire banking industry in Bangladesh.

"Since then, Bangladesh Bank has already worked to strengthen its IT security and IT risk management while we have also ensured new ICT-security guidelines for banks and FIs," he told the function about the cyber-safety measures being taken following the stunning  theft of Bangladesh's reserves from the US Reserve Bank in New York.

Chairman of the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh Anis A Khan and BIBM Director-General Dr. Toufic Ahmad Choudhury also spoke.

News:Financial Express/24-jul-2017
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