The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, has laid out a five-pillared strategic approach called “GUARD” to address cybersecurity issues at urban cooperative banks (UCBs).
The UCBs are grappling with increased cybersecurity threats, which the central bank has deemed important to deal with.
RBI has formalised a document titled “Technology Vision for Cyber Security for Urban Cooperative Banks 2020-2023”.
In this document, RBI said: “The number, frequency and impact of cyber incidents/attacks have increased manifold in the recent past, more so in the case of financial sector including UCBs.
“It has, therefore, become essential to enhance the security posture of UCBs so as to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from cyber-attacks.”
GUARD stands for Governance Oversight, Utile Technology Investment, Appropriate Regulation and Supervision, Robust Collaboration and Developing necessary IT, cyber security skills set.
This technology vision document is aimed at bolstering the UCBs’ cybersecurity position against rising IT and cyber threat.
RBI chief general manager Yogesh Dayal said: “With concerted efforts and involvement of all stake holders, the technology vision document for cyber security for UCBs, with its 12 specific action points, aspires to (a) involve more board oversight over cyber security; (b) enable UCBs to better manage and secure their IT Assets; (c) implement an offsite supervisory mechanism framework for UCBs on cyber security related controls; (d) Develop a forum for UCBs so that they can share best practices and discuss practical issues and challenges; and (e) Implement framework for providing awareness/ training for all UCBs.
“The cyber security landscape will continue to evolve with wider adoption of digital banking channels, thus necessitating the UCBs to manage the associated risks effectively.
“The implementation of the approach outlined in this technology vision document will strengthen the cyber resilience of the Urban Co-operative Banks.”
Recently, the Parliament of India passed amendments to the Banking Regulation Act in order to bring co-operative banks under the supervision of the RBI.
The move is aimed at protecting depositors’ interest.
It comes after the Indian government decided to bring the urban and multi-state co-op banks under RBI governance, back in June 2020.