The Chief Information Officer at AI Baraka Islamic Bank, Mr. Waheed, stated that transforming banks and financial institutions into cloud computing requires only the best cybersecurity standards to be applied. This was at the “Zero Trust Security – Always Verify” Forum, a forum aimed at enhancing cybersecurity awareness amongst Bahraini institutions and individuals.

Mr. Waheed stated that Digitalization is steering the banking industry toward a constant review of cybersecurity strategies. This becomes especially necessary when cyber threats and risks are ever-increasing. It is also necessary because businesses now allow their employees to work remotely, which may cause security vulnerabilities.

Furthermore, Mr. Waheed noted a worrisome trend in that online banking has increased, leading to more security risks. This is because many banking customers are not knowledgeable in online banking and thus are more likely to fall for online fraud or phishing attacks. He added that these challenges indicate “Zero Trust Security” ‘s importance. Zero Trust Security is described as a “strategic approach to cybersecurity that secures an organization by eliminating implicit trust and continuously validating every stage of digital interaction.” He added that it is an IT security model that requires that every person and device attempting to connect to a private network is identified, and their identity is verified, whether the person or device is located within or outside the network perimeter. This means that authentication not only takes place at the beginning but continuously throughout the user’s experience through an adaptive, risk-based assessment to identify potential threats.

In Mr Waheed’s concluding remarks, he stated that since there are economic challenges, as well as new ways of fraud and phishing methods that arise, banks are vulnerable to large-scale cyberattacks due to the focus they have placed on digital transformation. Considering this, banks ought to implement the zero-trust approach as an essential factor in the success of electronic banking services. This is because this approach offers tight protection for digital assets.

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– Kelly Lekaise (Candidate Attorney at PPM Attorneys, South Africa)

Edited By: Prakhar Tripathi

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