The increased adoption of Digitalization in the Digital Banking industry has attracted cybercriminals, eventually leading to numerous cybersecurity threats. With the Banking sector going Digital for various services, it has simultaneously opened innumerable opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit the existing vulnerabilities present in the industry. This is why cybersecurity is gaining importance in the Banking Industry, making it an inevitable need for the CTOs coming from this industry.

The Debit Card Breach of 2016 in India was possibly the biggest-ever data breach in India, hampering the Indian banking system. National Payments Corporation of India or NPCI, the body that controls retail payments in India, issued a statement saying, “possible compromise at one of the payment switch provider’s systems.” During this breach, between May and July 2016, many ATM and point of sale machines got infected due to an unknown malicious virus, with the data of 3.2 million users getting compromised.

Challenges Pushed by the Pandemic on Digital Banking

The ongoing pandemic has caused various technical as well as operational challenges to the customers and banking systems. A significant portion of the Indian population remains still doesn’t have access to any bank account. This is where the main challenge arises for this industry, i.e., adopting new technological changes within the banks and their customers. Banking customers perceive security as their main concern because the Indian banking sector has witnessed huge losses due to cyber frauds in the past. Hence, with more users opting for digital banking solutions, the industry must brace itself by implementing robust & strict security measures that can avert cybersecurity risks in digital banking.

Prominent Cyber Threat Types in Indian Banking Sector

Below is the list of some of the most prominent & biggest threats to the Indian Banking Sector-

  • Anti-Fraud Bypasses: Increasing number of online transactions has caused cybercriminals to search for techniques that counter anti-fraud safeguards. Cyber criminals replicate credentials with the existing ones by ‘getting ‘into a user’s system
  • ATM Malware: Similar to the case of the Debit Card Breach of 2016, this form of cyber threat has been a common phenomenon detected within Indian financial institutions, programmed to cash drain ATMs
  • Account Frauds: In this type of fraud, cybercriminals aim to steal and hack user-sensitive data like account numbers, profile passwords, etc.
  • Phishing: Phishing is another persistent cyber threat, where the victims are tricked into opening malicious links, which eventually leads to the installation of malware which then freezes the user systems
  • Internal Employees Threats: Internal employees can also be a great threat to the banks as they can leak out critical policies & data, resulting in increased cyber threat
  • Ransomware Attacks: Ransomware attacks can easily target those banks that are low on IT resources, legacy security patches, and other outdated software. In order to counter these ransomware attacks, the banks must quickly strengthen their networks with enhanced security features that can restrict and block these malicious attacks

Why Cybersecurity is the Need in Digital Banking?

Ensuring cybersecurity in digital banking is to secure a digital banking customer’s critical assets and applications. With people adopting cashless, digital payments, transactions, and other associated banking functionalities, it is becoming important for the banking industry to reconsider banking cybersecurity.

Cyber crimes and other cybersecurity risks in digital banking have serious implications on the customer data and banks in their attempt to recover the ‘data at risk.’ The banking industry is spending a significant amount towards ensuring robust online banking cybersecurity and safeguarding user data and applications. A strong cybersecurity mechanism in banks ensures that data and applications remain safe and secure against some of the biggest threats that they could incur. Needless to say, data breaches and cyberattacks have serious implications not only for the banks but also for their end-users.

Solutions to Cybersecurity Threats in Digital Banking

The Digital Banking Industry can adopt the following approaches toward ensuring overall enhanced banking cybersecurity-

  1. Use of Integrated Security: The banking industry is a highly-regulated one where banks invest a significant amount of their time, money, and efforts to deploy the best technologies. Having integrated security aligns the components of digital banking, which can become essential for ensuring overall online banking cybersecurity.
  2. Use of Security Analytics: Modern-day analytics tools store and assess huge volumes of security data in real-time, which can be then later analyzed and reformulate strategies related to banking cybersecurity
  3. Determining the Importance of Security: Like every industry today, the digital banking industry must evaluate potential security threats that can hamper its business. They need to understand the risk & the corresponding mitigation strategy for cybersecurity threats
  4. Ensuring Protection of Critical Information: In today’s time, user data is stored across various devices, and in the absence of a strong security mechanism, this data can be easily attacked. Hence, the banks must ensure they have mechanisms like multi-factor authentication or bio-metrics that serve as an additional security layer for the stored data
  5. Enhance Cybersecurity Awareness: For the digital banking industry, it becomes inevitably important that they educate regarding sharing of critical data and credentials. The cybersecurity cell in the banks must be alerted in case there are any suspicious activities taking place in the banking accounts. These activities might include fraud, phishing attacks, etc.

Wrap Up:Cybersecurity in the digital banking industry shouldn’t be compromised at any cost. The rising adaption of digital technologies in this industry has opened various opportunities for cybercriminals to attack data and applications. Hence, there needs to be a robust threat mitigation plan to ensure complete foolproof banking cybersecurity.


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