Bahrain banks warned against cyber attacks
Manama, May 13, 2013
Banks in Bahrain are vulnerable to the kind of cyber attacks that saw $45 million stolen from two banks in the Middle East - the UAE-based National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah and the Oman-based Bank Muscat, said an expert.
"This recent event is continued proof that bank crime is moving away from physical attacks to the safer and more financially lucrative tactics of doing it remotely," Bahrain-based financial security specialist Le Beck chief executive Tony Tesar was quoted as saying in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"The ability to secure data on servers has never been more relevant and the use of effective firewalls has never been more critical.
"The need to regularly test online systems and servers will be essential in combating these types of attacks and smaller banks with less effective measures will always be more prone to attack.
"These types of attacks are very difficult to prevent and detect due to continuous advances in technology and the speed at which an attack can take place," Mr Tesar said.
"Regular penetration testing (Pentesting) is essential and using a variety of organisations and individuals to assist with this will greatly help in staying ahead of advances in technology and in identifying loopholes/gaps in a bank's existing online and internal IT systems," he said.
Tesar said another consideration is the financial and reputational impact it will have on the banks that are victims of this type of attack.
"Having effective security strategies in place, as well as comprehensive crisis management and disaster recovery plans, will greatly assist in dealing with these types of attacks and the aftermath that will follow," he said.
"How a bank deals with a crisis after the event can be as important as what it has in place prior to a serious event taking place."
Meanwhile, Union of Arab Banks chairman Adnan Yousif said Bahrain-based banks are well protected from any cyber crimes, reports our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej.
"They are safe from such attacks because they use European technologies originating from major global companies," he said, adding the sound supervisory policies implemented by the Central Bank of Bahrain have helped build a safe banking environment. – TradeArabia News Service