Following the recent news from one of our national daily newspapers, it has been years that Nepalese banks have been a prime target for hackers around the world.
Hackers have various ways of hacking banking systems. It is no surprise that our banking sector is attacked now and then. Nepal is a country where in 2018 alone, a total of USD 8.064 Billion entered Nepal through remittance. The country’s public expenditure budget is never consumed 100 %, and that happens every year! There’s a lot of money here, but we do not know where they are circulating. The banking sector has fostered here for decades, there are many banks in Nepal, more than I could ever find in Germany.
Frequent hacks and stealing of money from ATMs suggest that there are serious architectural flaws in our banking system and policies.
If you are building the banking network of the future, consider these points :
- Your customer should have an option to choose when to deactivate and re-activate their debit and credit cards, or the whole account from their device through on the internet.
- You as a bank or the ATM Vendor, should provide alternative technologies like fingerprints, and PIN, combined to withdraw cash from your machines.
- Your customer should be able to choose at what places the withdrawal of money is available to them, and they should be able to lock certain areas and places on the internet.
- Your customer should not wait for hours in your bank to deposit their own money. I have waited for hours to deposit money in banks too, and this just makes your customer feel like shit. Never give them bad experiences. There is a technical solution to this, there are machines that can take cash deposits.
- Your customer should be able to transfer and receive money easily through your mobile application. Make your user-interface easy to use.
- You as a bank should not charge money to your customers to change their online account passwords. My bank charges money to change my password.
- You as a bank must have 24/7 online support to your customers. If you do not do this, you are not taking care of your customers.
- If you look at the future, the future is Peer-to-Peer, hence you as a bank should not rely on heavy mainstream media marketing. Marketing by personal recommendations and incentives works way better than your dumb “between the shows” advertisements. Actually, if I were watching my favorite show and your bank advertisement comes in between and it ruins my mood, I’m not going to your bank if I needed to open an account, I’d look for alternatives first. Make sure you know how your bank presents itself out to the public. Make sure you advertise and promote it right.
- Online banks are emerging. You do not necessarily need too many offices and branches as they are your liabilities. Try reducing them as much as possible, but do provide in-person customer care. This can be done by hiring contractors who can then hire freelancers who would come to your home to educate you or show you demos on how to use the new online banking system. It saves costs, believe me.
- Blockchains are the new tools! If you are scared of your internal data being tampered, put everything on the blockchain. Do not know what a blockchain is? t.me/blocksec/6 this book will give you some introduction, or contact me at through t.me/kathbournelabs to learn more about how blockchain can help your business grow.
- Encrypt everything on your server. Hackers mostly pawn your servers and get the full database of the serial numbers of your ATM cards along-with the PIN associated, and these can be easily replicated on empty ATM cards that are programmable. These cards would then be used at your ATM to withdraw the money.
- Make sure you audit your systems now and then. Vulnerable servers are good targets for hackers. Do you not know to do this? There are many security solutions providers, or you could also try hiring security specialists to give your business an idea of how it works.
I am not against any private banks or financial services, however, these old institutions will face a big challenge to keep up with their existence and would need a lot of effort to keep up with the competition by adopting newer technologies and processes.
Threat and opportunities to banks
- Artificial-Intelligent cybersecurity systems
- Peer-to-Peer financial models
- e-wallet providers
The future of banking is where you can develop a solution to provide the ownership to your customers through customized banking applications and systems without much bureaucracy and control, and moreover, an application where your customers get to own their data and keep them secure themselves through your application on their device.
Stay tuned with us, next time on Cybersecurity , we are interviewing an industry expert who has experience in the infosec world for decades. She will guide us through the latest developments in the industry and also also help answering some of the cybersecurity aspirants.