“We shouldn’t ask our customers to make a trade-off between privacy and security. We need to offer them the best of both. Ultimately, protecting someone else’s data protects all of us.” – Tim Cook
An important aspect of cybersecurity is the prevention of cyber threats against systems connected to the internet, including their hardware, software, and data. Both organisations and individuals implement this method to prevent unlawful access to their data and other computerised systems.
Many Sectors have surged demand for cyber security services and products in the past few years, among those were Banking sectors. Cyber security becomes much more essential considering how building credibility and trust is indeed the cornerstone of banking. And as digitalisation is becoming more prevalent day by day, banks had to enhance their efforts to adopt technologies (such as digital banking, remote access, improving intranet and more recent hybrid cloud computing) and enable continuous digital transformation to sustain and advance in the banking sector.
Just like every coin comes with two sides, digital advancement has its perks and pitfalls. It is here where cyber security in banking comes into place, to protect all bank data security.
Importance of protecting the bank data security:
To protect customers’ assets –
Whenever a bank faces a cyberattack, it not only affects the bank’s reputation but also its customers’ data. In most cases, when a user loses money due to card fraudulent practices, they can retrieve it from their bank. The problem is that when there is data infringement, it takes a long time to retrieve the funds, which worries the customers. Every bank must implement methods of cyber security in banking which can safeguard their customers’ data.
To make sure banks’ prestige is intact –
Infringements that result in data loss are a major concern for banks. In such a crucial situation where a bank’s or customers’ data is compromised, it becomes increasingly difficult for the bank to gain the trust of its customers. Weak cyber security approaches are usually responsible for data thefts.
Therefore, cyber security in banking is essential for banks to evaluate current security measures and safeguard crucial information.
For an efficient digital transformation –
As we all know, our economy is going cashless and such a bold move comes with a heavy toll. In recent years, banks have seen a decrease in their customers’ use of traditional methods of communication. Consequently, banks must safeguard their banking functions to protect customer information, since hackers can access banking apps quickly if proper bank data security measures are not considered.
Some of the key factors that banks need to consider when it comes to bank data security that is to keep an eye on the flow of the following aspects –
Network security: A comprehensive solution to protect bank data networks, including network communications, data centres, IT platforms, and connected devices; which can be achieved by monitoring, resolving, and enhancing the security of the network after deployment with appropriate security mechanisms in place like firewalls etc.
Identity security: Protecting critical and sensitive data through cyber security policies that define and manage user roles complying with the rules and norms of RBI guidelines
Educate about security: Give adequate information to your employees about how bank data security actively works and how to tackle any data security issues with ease. To let the customers know about safe cyber hygiene practices and why they are important for their daily banking transactions or processes to avoid any cyber fraud malpractices.
The banking sector must take proper and quick actions to reduce the aftermath of data breaching. So what are these cyber impediments — the top threats which are affecting bank data security?
The threat of cybercrime extends beyond massive data influx, the inadequacy of access controls, and system disruptions. In addition to stealing credit and debit card data from customers, they also funnel off funds through reprogrammed Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), affecting the capabilities of the banking network, and engaging in money laundering and data theft through sophisticated software programs and network algorithms that can vary in nature, origin, and source.
In-depth – Data Manipulation: Attacks which manipulate data have rapidly increased in frequency amid hackers. An attacker uses Data Manipulation Language (DML) or Structured Query Language (SQL) for creating discrepancies in the flow of the data for their / others’ gains. It often goes unnoticed if an attacker has made any changes in the data network which results in a cascading downfall in bank data security.
Malware: Malware is any software that is purposefully designed to disrupt a computer, server, client, or computer network, leak private information, gain unauthorised access to information or systems, deny users access to information, or otherwise interfere with the user’s computer security and privacy. In May 2017, the world saw the worst cyberattack in history — a piece of malware called “WannaCry” – which disrupted and destroyed the systems that were run by Microsoft operations by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. It was later found the shadow brokers group stole and leaked an exploit called “EternalBlue” which was created by United States National Security Agency (NSA). The hacker was indeed caught but the fear the attacker caused was indisputable.
Social engineering: Encompasses phishing and other malicious actions conducted via interactions and psychological manipulations that trick users into making security mistakes or revealing information.
- Phishing – Obtaining personal information such as names, addresses, and Social Security Numbers; using shortened or misleading links that redirect users to suspicious websites that host phishing landing pages; leveraging fear to manipulate the user to respond quickly.
- Pretexting – Attackers focus on creating a pretext, or fabricated scenario, to steal confidential information. In such sorts of threats, the scammer usually impersonates a trusted entity/individual and asserts to require specific information from the user to confirm their identity. If the victim happens to agree, the attackers commit identity theft or use the data for other malicious purposes.
Unencrypted Data: It is among the most common security threats encountered by banks in which data is left unencrypted and cyber attackers or hackers enter unnoticed into the bank data network and stay there until they find a way to manipulate personal data, cyber money laundering, ATM network and card details which causes serious repercussions for the banking security.
Spoofing: These hackers will impersonate a bank website which looks and works similar to the original bank website, and when the customer enters his or her login credentials, the hackers then steal all those credentials.
Conclusion – How not to be a victim is by being more aware of these security threats and creating a secure environment safe for everyone. Make sure to take all necessary actions and report even the slightest variation in the bank data network. To build future-ready bank data security, the banking sectors must prioritise cyber defence and invest in it. A cyber-ready banking network will address current cybersecurity risks and prepare for future ones.
“At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security.” – Jodi Rell
For reporting any malpractices: https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/content/pdfs/CSFB020616_AN3.pdf