The Maharashtra State Co-operative Banks’ Association (MSCBA) has joined hands with Mumbai-based cybersecurity company Sequretek to announce a comprehensive enterprise cybersecurity program for co-operative banks in Maharashtra. This is a first of its kind initiative anywhere in the country that will offer option, to all the 400-member co-operative banks of MSCBA, to avail state of the art 24×7 cybersecurity operations, compliant as per RBI guidelines.
This initiative was inaugurated by Ravindra Chavan, minister of state for Information Technology, Ports, Medical Education, Consumer Protection, Food, and Civil Supplies and Shri Satish Soni, Commissioner for Co-operation and Registrar of Co-operative Societies, in presence of board members of MSCBA and leaders of over 100 co-operative banks. Through this initiative, Sequretek will remotely monitor and respond to security threats that could potentially disrupt the co-operative banks’ IT infrastructure and in the process not only impact their brand reputation but also lead to financial loss. Sequretek and MSCBA will work jointly to train over 1,000 bank professionals in cybersecurity to manage threats on sites within the member banks, as well as build a cyber aware community.
Cooperative banks have begun embracing the latest banking technologies to offer top of the line services to their customers, however, due to a gap in their security, many co-operative and schedule banks have fallen prey to data breaches in recent times. Over the past few months, RBI has issued guidelines making it mandatory for banks across categories to invest in securing their IT assets, however, co-operative banks have generally found it tough to allocate resources on account of their size and presence in remote locations. With such a scenario fast becoming their reality, it is the first time anywhere in India; a banking association has taken a progressive step to align their member banks with a comprehensive cybersecurity program. This initiative by MSCBA is an attempt to give co-operative banks a fighting chance against hackers and data thieves.
Swati Pande, CEO of MSCBA, said: “For a very long time we have been watching with trepidation the potential impact of cybersecurity threats on our member banks. Analysis of several of the recent security incidents reveals that a majority of them could have been prevented had there been a 24×7 cybersecurity operations center monitoring it. We were also acutely aware of the fact that these banks do not have the resources to implement the same. I am grateful to our board under whose guidance we were able to frame the structure, and I am very pleased at the acceptance of our approach by our member banks. This will go a long way in significantly improving bank’s security posture.”
Sequretek, which works with some of the top financial institutions in the country, will be giving access to the same next-generation AI-powered security monitoring to co-operative banks. They will be sharing threat intelligence across the network to alert banks of possible breaches and help them plug the gap before an attack can cause any real damage. Sequretek will be offering 24/7 security support through its SOC, which monitors more than 300 million incidents globally on a daily basis. The company will also be training 1,000 security professionals to help the banks manage aspects of cybersecurity on site thus ensuring an end-to-end cybersecurity protection and also create a pool of security experts
Pankit Desai, Co-founder CEO, Sequretek, said: “Small size banks often find it challenging on account of limited resources to be able to have access to the right technology to better serve their cybersecurity needs. Not anymore. Our commitment to co-operative banks is to extend our full suite of cybersecurity services which includes monitoring, threat intelligence, training and continuous updating of the overall security infrastructure.”