The Bangladesh Bank cyberheist was the result of limited knowledge about the importance of cybersecurity in today's world, said former Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur Rahman.
“This incident could have been avoided if we had the proper idea about cybersecurity,” he said in an exclusive interview.
Terming the heist a disaster, the former central bank governor said: “Any disaster is a learning experience. We have to learn what our mistakes were from this heist and move forward. Bangladesh Bank should put proper security measures in place.”
He said just as several initiatives had been taken to protect workers' safety in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza incident, the Bangladesh Bank has to formulate strict regulatory measures to ensure cybersecurity.
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But this is not something that the central bank can do on its own, he cautioned.
“Other banks in the country, too, have weak security systems. “At the beginning of last year, there was a number of cyberattacks on ATM booths,” he said. “The banks had been advised to upgrade their cybersecurity mechanisms then.
“Bangladesh Bank cannot alone ensure cybersecurity; it must work with all the other banks to do so. They can form a cybersecurity committee comprising experienced officials from other banks as well.”
The committee must run comprehensive diagnostics to look for flaws and weaknesses in every bank's security system and take preventive measures accordingly, he added.
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Atiur Rahman stepped down from his post as the governor of Bangladesh Bank on March 15, 2016 after news broke out about hackers stealing $81 million from the central bank's account in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The hackers tried to steal $101 million from the reserve on February 4, 2016, but a transaction of $20 million was blocked at the last minute.
Bangladesh has yet to retrieve all of the stolen money.
Since his resignation, Atiur has attended a number of international seminars, workshops and conferences on economy and finance.
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune