ATTENTION!! Poor IT infrastructure, unprotected software cost Pakistani banks a billion rupees every year
The country has reported more than 628 impairment attacks since earlier this year.
Many industry experts believe that poor Information Technology infrastructure has made Pakistani banks the victim of frequent cyberattacks, which costs them around a billion rupees in losses every year.
According to data collected from the cybersecurity services provider, The Pakistan Computer Emergency Response Team, “The country has reported more than 628 cyber attacks since earlier this year. The attacks have increased after the coronavirus outbreak in March and subsequent lockdowns, which increased online transactions.
Pakistan’s financial institutions, primarily banks, have been the main targets of fraudsters.
The Chief Operating Officer at the Habib Bank, Sagheer Mufti, told a local news outlet, “The fraudsters seek personal information by spoof calling while pretending to be bankers or law enforcers.”
Increasing Cyber Attacks
“Social engineering scams alone may have cost the local banking industry up to one billion rupees a year,” the Chief Operating Officer said, adding that the global cybersecurity market would grow 12% to 15% by 2021 amid rising attacks worldwide.
According to the PakCERT, “In November 2018, a mass skimming operation hit customers’ debit and credit cards, taking details of nearly 20,000 customers from 22 Pakistani banks.
Following the cybersecurity incident, the State Bank of Pakistan ordered all banks to carry out comprehensive assessments to identify possible gaps in their systems. The central bank also instructed to regulate independent third-party inspections of their security processes.
However, cybersecurity specialists believe that the country’s IT infrastructure, particularly for banks, remains unprotected.
A Cybersecurity expert from NewZealand, Dr. Rizwan Ahmed, told a source, “In Pakistan, some banks may be using unsupported software. They also do not conduct a risk assessment of infrastructure designing, whether their system can resist attacks.”
Mr. Ahmed added that financial service providers in Pakistan should be compelled to use licensed programs. The country needs a supervisory authority that should ensure the banks and other financial service providers to use authorized software because many institutions have been using pirated software.”
Story first published in Arab News.
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