HYDERABAD: Technology integration is the toughest challenge in the ongoing public sector bank mergers, said G Padmanabhan, chairman, Bank of India.
Though banks chosen for mergers have the same CBS solutions, the versions are different, customisation is varied and security solutions and controls are divergent. “To bring together such systems over a period of 2-3 years, retaining and rebuilding adequate security solutions and processes, is tough. They can throw out security challenges,” he said.
Speaking at an event organised by IDRBT here Wednesday, Padmanabhan said banks should focus on security as much as on functionalities or user interfaces. The greater challenge will be skill set availability in security.
According to him, one of the less debated issues was the linkages with third parties. “The concern is that there is a lot of dependency on service providers and there is a significant cybersecurity risk in that a lot of data is going back and forth and held by third parties. Will a merger of different versions of CBS enhance the challenge?” he questioned.
Meanwhile, in 2018, cyber attacks on India shot up over 100 per cent over the previous year as against the corresponding global increase of 35 per cent. “India was the second most targeted country for cyber attacks in the world, after the US, which was in first place, and followed by Canada in third place, whereas India’s global ranking in cybersecurity readiness stood at 47,” he noted.
The UN ranked India 23rd out of 165 nations, in terms of commitment of a nation to stall cybersecurity, while Singapore, USA and Malaysia topped the list.
He suggested that the financial sector join hands and fund research to enable institutions to be proactive rather than reactive in dealing with cyber attacks. “In a country like ours, it takes an enormous amount of time to resolve a cyber issue. When the world average is 220 days, India probably lags even behind that,” he said.
The Bank of India chairman Padmanabhan asked why the banks should be held responsible for the financial loss that arises out of negligent actions on part of the customers.