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Last update: Wed, 10 Feb 2016 01am

E-banking adoption: customer security a major concern: SBP

State Bank of Pakistan, Deputy Governor, Ashraf Mahmood Wathra said on Tuesday that security was one of the biggest customer concerns when considering e-banking adoption. He was speaking at the 8th International Information Security conference organised by Total Communications in collaboration with Pakistan Information Security Association (PISA).

Mobile banking creates a heightened level of potential operations risk. "Solutions that work in wired networks may not be sufficient to address risks for application in a wireless environment and the transfer of information from a wired to a wireless environment can create additional risks to the integrity and confidentiality of the information exchanges," Wathra said.

There are five key principles guiding technology risk management in Mobile Financial Services: Confidentiality, integrity, availability, authentication, and non-repudiation. "These have been embedded in our regulatory framework for branchless banking", the deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan said.

In Pakistan, the banking system despite its major transformation remains restricted in its outreach. "In a population of 185 million, there are only 32 million deposit accounts and 6 million borrowers. On the contrary, the number of mobile phone subscribers has crossed 130 million across all economic and geographic segments."

Ammar Jaffri, President of PISA, said that experts have drafted Cyber Security Law (CSL) to protect people, businesses and the government of Pakistan from security risks while using internet.

"The drafted regulations will be first send to Senate by end of January-2014 and then to National Assembly for approval," he told media on sidelines of the conference.

Addressing the audience earlier, he said that everyone was competing in cyber space where criminals were so active. "To counter and compete with criminals, we need to create warriors in Pakistan as well, as the developed and developing world is doing."

"Criminals would always go where the money is coming from...and the money is coming from the financial sector," he said.

Asher Faisal Khan, CEO, Commtel Systems, said that information security was not a myth but a reality that organisations need to accept at first stage.

Absence of the security measures at their-end has caused losses of billions of dollars to multinational companies and banks at world across, including Sony, oil giant Saudi Aramco, Bank of Muscat, and a national bank of an emirate in UAE.

Dr Athar Mehboob, Dean, Suffa University, said that cyber crime has grown to the level of industry at world across. "Criminals are developing malicious software for financial benefits these days. There was a time in 70's when they used to do it for earning fame."

The one-day conference also held a panel discussion "Current Security threats and Solutions". Annual premier event was largely attended by Information Security experts of the country.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013