Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 September 2019

UAE banks set up cyber-security sharing platform

The platform will provide banks with ways to share cyber-threats with each other such as when hackers scan for open ports or brute force scan attacks.
'Banks will be able to prevent and reduce sensitive data exposure' cyber-security sharing programme, said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, the chairman of the banking federation. Pawan Singh / The National
'Banks will be able to prevent and reduce sensitive data exposure' cyber-security sharing programme, said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, the chairman of the banking federation. Pawan Singh / The National

The UAE Banks Federation has started a cyber-security sharing programme among its 49 member banks to help prevent crimes perpetrated online against lenders.

The advisory council to the federation’s chief executive approved the plan to start the Cyber Threat Intelligence Initiative 2017 in March. The proposal called for the creation of a cyber-intelligence sharing platform that will help banks to identify and protect themselves from cyber attacks.

“Providing a robust platform for collection and sharing of cyber-threat intelligence will allow banks to answer the ‘who, what, where, when, why, and how’ questions needed for immediate decisions and actions required,” said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, the chairman of the banking federation.

“By seamlessly sharing business-critical information with each other, banks will be able to prevent and reduce sensitive data exposure and make better, more informed decisions around risk management and the investment needed for their cyber-security strategies. Such intra-sectoral collaboration will allow the banking industry to become more cyber-resilient, ultimately providing greater transaction security and peace of mind for banking customers in the country.”

The platform will provide banks with ways to share cyber-threats with each other such as when hackers scan for open ports or brute force scan attacks. Ways that are known to bypass security will also be shared as well as known vulnerabilities, the federation said. The move comes amid an increasing number of attacks on financial institutions around the world. Between 2011 and 2013, 46 major financial institutions in the US were targeted through cyber-attacks, preventing hundreds of thousands of customers from accessing their accounts and costing the businesses millions of dollars to upgrade their systems.

In March last year, the FBI charged seven Iranian computer experts with carrying out the attack. And in 2013 two members of “hacktivist” group Anonymous were convicted of carrying out attacks against online payment websites including PayPal.

Yesterday, the lender Emirates NBD said it plans to integrate Blockchain technology into cheques to minimise potential fraud. The Cheque Chain initiative will begin with its employees during the pilot phase, before the customer roll out later this year.

A unique QR code will be printed on every leaf of the newly issued chequebooks, making them more difficult to forge. In subsequent phases, the QR code will register each cheque on the bank’s Blockchain platform, ensuring that once the cheque is received and cleared, bank staff will be able to validate its authenticity and track it at all times, Emirates NBD said.

Abdulla Qassem, the group chief operating officer, said that the initiative would result in a significant improvement in cheque security and ensure the safety of customer transactions at all times.

mkassem@thenational.ae

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Updated: May 1, 2017 04:00 AM

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