Mumbai: Maharashtra State Cooperative Banks' Association (MSCBA), the industry body for cooperative banks, is looking to implement a comprehensive cyber security programme for 400 member banks. The association has tied up with Mumbai-based cyber security firm Sequretek for providing AI powered security monitoring capacity and also training for 1000 professionals in cyber security.
Of the 400 member banks, 140 banks have shown interest to onboard themselves for the programme. A pilot programme is currently on in five banks and is expected to be rolled out at other banks over the next 2-3 months.
"Out of 410 banks of the association, only 50 banks are technologically sound. They are having the capacity to build their own security operating centre, own application software, data centre. But that is not the case for other cooperative banks. Association is doing these initatives for smaller cooperative banks," said Swati Pande, chief executive officer, MSCBA.
Cooperative banks are not a stranger to cyber attacks. Last year, Pune-based Cosmos Bank lotst ₹94 crore to a malware attack on its debit card payment switching systems. Following this, the Reserve Bank of India came out with a cyber security framework for primary (urban) cooperative banks, which includes a board-approved cyber security plan.
"Many cyber ttacks have happened over the last few months. One incident happened in Kolhapur Cooperative Bank where ₹67-lakh fraud was detected through cyber security. In the last 15 days, Ojhar Merchant Co-operative Bank also faced the same problem. Besides that, the Shikshak Sahakari Bank, nagpur also faced the problem but the problem is that they don't understand how big the problem is," Pande added.
Earlier this year, RBI also proposed to set up an umbrella organisation to make cooperative banks more financially resilient and to enhance the depositors' confidence. However, Pande believes that RBI has been working on it for a long time but they are have not reached any conclusion.