Home Media Three senior bankers discuss the threat of cybercrime as viewed from three different banking regions

Three senior bankers discuss the threat of cybercrime as viewed from three different banking regions

by internationalbanker

Simon Hughes, International BankerCybercrime seems to be posing an ever-increasing threat to banks in all regions of the world. Do you see it being a particularly significant threat to you, and if so, what are some of the preventative measures you have implemented in order to combat it?

Mr. Mikael Sørensen, CEO, Handelsbanken UK: Well, I think cybercrime is a problem for all businesses, not only banks, but we see it within many different types of businesses. And I think that we do a lot of things ourselves within the bank to prevent this. But cybercrime, you also need to collaborate within the industry. So we are, of course, also collaborating with other financial institutions to try to protect our customers against cybercrime and also with several governmental bodies to prevent this both here in the UK and in our home market. 

Mr. Edwin R. Bautista, President and Chief Operating Officer, Union Bank of the Philippines: Well, you know, in our case, you know every year we map out the top risks for the bank. And last year, I think cybersecurity finally got in the Top 10 as number 9 or number 8. But this year, when we reviewed it, it was at the top of the list. Our number one risk is cybersecurity. Now our position in the bank is that we want to be highly digital. Most of the products which we push are along that area, and therefore cybersecurity is the biggest risk. As you expose your banking transactions online, you will always be at threat. What we’ve done is that we’ve engaged the services of an international group that specializes in cybersecurity. And they’ve given us a task list of things that we can do right away. And many, actually, we realized were very practical and very easy to implement. A lot of it had to do with people. Just having an inventory of information, assets that you need to safekeep. Raising awareness among people, among the staff. And so on and so forth. And, of course, you have the medium-term and the long-term ones which could involve some investments in terms of security. But we’ve engaged them not only to look at where we are but to guide us along that path toward hardening the, as they say, we need to harden the perimeter walls, you know. The way they talk. It’s like you’re in the armed forces. Talking about putting up the external perimeter and the firewalls and so on and so forth. 

Dr. Charles Stephen Kimei, Chief Executive Officer, CRDB Bank: Cybercrime is huge, especially when you are talking of alternative banking channels, which is computer based, automated. You see only after it has happened, unless you have very preventative measures, very highly interactive and continuous online preventative measures. What we have done in our case is that, first of all, we are sure that we are doing constant penetration tests to ensure that no one can penetrate. We have internationally accredited institutions that are also approved by Visa, MasterCard and other important networks, who we have contracted to do the penetration tests on and on. 

 

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