Talent Crunch Affects Bank’s Cybersecurity Plans

Banks are grappling with a severe talent crunch in the field of cybersecurity, at a time when several instances of cyberattacks have been reported by various lenders.

“We do not observe much attrition in cyberspace. However, there is always a talent crunch. We have quite a large team, including consultants and technology resources. Nevertheless, cybersecurity is not static; it is continually evolving, and we need more manpower,” says Balaji Rajagopalan, chief technology officer, State Bank of India..

“Continuous training for the team is essential. We are also conducting ongoing training and grooming at the branch level to pre-empt such cyberattacks,” said

Recently, UCO Bank reported an IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) fraud, wherein Rs 820 crore (Rs 8.2 billion) was credited to certain account holders of the bank without a corresponding debit from any other bank.

According to the bank, during November 10-13, specific transactions initiated by account holders of other banks led to the crediting of accounts at UCO Bank without actual receipt of money from those banks.

Echoing a similar sentiment, the chief information officer of a leading private sector bank mentioned, “The attrition rate in cybersecurity has moderated. However, a talent crunch persists.”

“Minor cyberattacks are commonplace, and we are training our internal team accordingly. We also have an external team to provide support.”

Recently, while speaking at an event organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Indian Banks Association, Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor M Rajeshwar Rao emphasised the need to focus on fortifying cybersecurity and preventing related frauds in the hyper-personalised and tech-banking environment.

‘The banking landscape is rapidly evolving with an increase in financial inclusion, customer access, product choices, and convenience. However, the risks to the consumer have also increased, with rising instances of fraud and data breaches,’ observed Rao.

Meanwhile, according to a tech expert from a bank, India’s banking sector is confronting various challenges in the realm of cybersecurity due to increasing digitisation and collaboration with financial tech firms, coupled with sophisticated phishing and ransomware attacks, among others.

The banking community has been able to detect and prevent such attacks through countermeasures and strong guidance from regulatory authorities.

Commenting on attrition and the talent crunch, Shibu K Thomas, general manager and chief information security officer at South Indian Bank, remarked, “As of now, we are not experiencing a talent crunch. We are taking concrete steps to address any potential issues.”

“Generally, there is attrition and also a clear dearth of skilled manpower in the market. According to various reports, this is not a new problem and will persist for quite some time,” says Thomas, adding, “Therefore, organisations should implement a programme to upskill or cross-skill their internal workforce, which I am confident will be very beneficial in the long run.

“A combination of nuanced insourcing and outsourcing will ensure attrition can be handled to a large extent.”

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com

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