Hack attack on Bangladesh Bank: Community and B2B yet to recover from hangover

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The $81 million heist at Bangladesh Central Bank last year, attacked by cyber criminals who infiltrated the bank’s SWIFT network, hasn’t died from the memory of most of banking community and the business sector worldwide.

As tongues wagged on the pros and cons of the banking security issue, news spread about other attacks of similar kind in global financial institutions.

Reacting to the aftermath, SWIFT released a Customer Security Program, outlining a set of guidelines to improve the banking community’s cyber security capabilities.

The guidelines laid down voluntary and mandatory recommendations to put cyber security measures in place.  However, as SWIFT continues to increase its demands from banks to prevent more cyber attacks, a leading fintech expert is of the opinion that more attention should be given to the area by SWIFT.

The growing concern among corporate segments and banking community is that cyber crime gangsters have access to the same technologies that the banks and cyber security companies have, to stop crimes!

The tendency of the hackers to hit the bank with the weakest security control, like in the case of the Bangladesh Central Bank at the time of the attack, could well be a pointer towards securing against such high-risk exposures.

All said, the Bangladesh Central Bank heist certainly came as a shocker to the financial world and SWIFT clients, including banks, all of whom have not yet recovered from the fear of a potential attack of similar kind, from within the system.

In a move of resilience, SWIFT implemented several checks and balances on the security system and brought in mandatory and voluntary guidelines to monitor such movements. The efforts also include anti-fraud solutions that examine the individuals initiating transactions and other contextual information in order to be as secure as possible.

Fraud on the Rise
However, the disturbing trend again is that the latest reports indicate that cyber criminals are gaining an edge over the banking community especially when it comes to B2B payments.

The Association for Financial Professional  found that fraudulent corporate payment transactions were higher in the year 2016 than in the previous years.

Payments by cheques and wire transfers were the most susceptible, they found.

Business heads and financial managers are taking a hard look at their banks and are increasingly concerned about B2B fund transfer security. They are even making sure they switch over or commence banking with entities they are more comfortable with, as far as security of money movement is concerned.

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