NBP under cyber attack

With an increase on the reliability on the use of internet technology in the banking sector, the threats posed by cyber troublemakers are also increasing. In the latest case, the IT infrastructure of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) came under a cyber attack that prompted the bank authorities to suspend their services. Fortunately, no financial loss or data breach happened in the attack as claimed by the NBP.

The affected servers were isolated, but it’s only a matter of time (and opportunity) before hackers get cracking. Most devices have inbuilt security systems. That, however, won’t deter criminals online who are getting smarter with the availability of modern and sophisticated hacking tools and technologies. Besides, this is not the first incident, cyber attacks are continuously happening on our financial institutions and official websites. The reports of cyber attacks have raised the concerns of the authorities and the general public who rely on banks for their day to day transactions. The incidents are increasing and it seems that they will keep on increasing with every passing day. The banking authorities do have their security system that can identify the troubles but they are not sure if they have nipped the issue in the bud. That is a concern that hounds the customers.

No one’s sure if their IT infrastructure is hacker-proof. Which bring us to the question. Are we ever safe online? Will we be assured of total security? Only in 2018, at least six Pakistani banks had suspended usage of their debit cards outside the country after Bank Islami suffered a cyber attack that siphoned off Rs2.6 million to the dismay of its unsuspecting consumers. The cyber attack disrupted the services of six key banks at that time. Now this. We take daily incidents of cyber attacks in our stride; a small price to pay for being online. A net overhaul is impossible – we have come so far. Our real and virtual lives have coalesced like never before. The banking authorities need to remain active against such cyber attacks. At the same time, they need to give some kind of assurance and guarantee to the account holders about the safety of their hard earned money.