Money & Banking

Banks will have to make major structural changes to boost cyber security, says former RBI Deputy Governor Gandhi

?OUR BUREAU Hyderabad | Updated on June 12, 2020 Published on June 12, 2020

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Banks and financial institutions will have to make major changes to their structure, operations and approach towards cyber security, according to R Gandhi, former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India.

He was speaking on ‘Cyber Security: During Pandemic and Beyond’ at a webinar organised by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) on Friday.

Apart from paying greater attention to crisis preparedness, systems resilienceand access to healthcare, banks will also have to make structural changes in some key areas, he said.

Stating that the the new mantra for banks will be “working securely, while working remotely”, Gandhi said banks will have to pay special attention for cyber security while enabling their staff to work remotely from home or on mobile spots.

“During the lockdown period, technology systems were put to test at unprecedented levels, and cyber security was the prime target of attack,” said the former RBI official.

The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has warned countries about a marked increase in cyber threats connected with malicious domains, malware and ransomware. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has pointed to an increase in money laundering and terrorist financing risks stemming from Covid-19-related crimes. Remote onboarding and remote identity verification in times of social distancing carry risks.

Structural changes

Covid-19 has dispelled the myth that banking, being a customer-oriented industry, is not suitable for Work From Home (WFH). “Banks will now have to let staff work from home. Rules, procedures, infrastructure, compensation,will need review and reassessment,” said Gandhi.

Banks have been forced to consider employee well-being more holistically in terms of not only the physical, but also mental and emotional well-being.

Redesigning the office layout to take care of social distancing (between staff and also between staff and customers), commitment to hygiene, cleanliness and safety, provisions for temperature checksand re-modelling conference rooms must becompleted on an urgent basis, he said.

Banks should also be ready to help staff redesign their homes and make them suitable to WFH. “As many homes are not equipped for WFH, employees will need to be assisted in helping them build office pods at home with enduring cyber connectivity and security features,” he added.

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Published on June 12, 2020
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