• Saturday, Nov 27, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:15 am

ED: Cybersecurity is no joke

  • Published at 01:44 am January 16th, 2021
Bangladesh Bank
Mehedi Hasan

Bangladesh Bank had been unprepared on the cybersecurity front

One would assume that after losing $101 million in 2016, Bangladesh Bank would have taken pro-active measures which attempt to heighten cyber security to the extent that such utter misappropriation of funds would never take place again.

However, malware was detected on the Bangladesh Bank server on Sunday, leading them to issue an emergency briefing to its staff and shutting down internet services on its computers -- as of Tuesday, internet services have yet to come back, potentially creating further inefficiencies in services elsewhere in Bangladesh Bank’s roster of duties.

This is an especially egregious mistake, considering the fact that it was malware that resulted in the notorious Bangladesh Bank heist in 2016 and, as much as it was unacceptable then, it is even more so now, considering that such flaws in security could potentially devastate a nation.

To learn of further details regarding the discovery of the malware is even more worrisome: It was only after the installation of new antivirus software that the virus was detected, which essentially means that how long the virus was in the system and what sort of damage had already done by the time it was detected remains to be seen, and Bangladesh Bank had been unprepared on the cybersecurity front.

According to experts, most banks have no department that specifically ensures security to prevent cyberattacks in the future, let alone the necessary trained manpower, with some touting that around half of the banks in the country are at high risk of such an attack, money and sensitive information vulnerable.

Inefficiency and incompetence have become commonplace in public institutions -- but this is not just another such entity. The nation’s economy is in the hands of Bangladesh Bank, and to have allowed any breach in its security in the first place is unacceptable, and those responsible should be brought to book.  

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