Daily News Egypt interviewed Abeer Khedr, Information Security Director at the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) to review the bank’s activities with regard to customers’ information security.
Why did the NBE take part in the Banking Technology Summit?
The NBE participated in the Banking Technology Summit this year and last year because we had to be present in this platform where all banks, whether they are local banking leaders or international banks, are taking part in, with the aim of discussing the challenges that face the banking technology and figuring out the needed solutions to develop the sector.
What are the challenges that face the banking technology?
As long as the banking systems are being introduced to technologies, several security risks accompany these developments so the banks have to take proactive steps to avoid these risks. When banks adopt new systems and solutions to provide a new service, they should do proper security assessment to these systems to address the weaknesses as well as performing a regular testing to ensure that these systems has no flaws. Banks should also be aware of the global risks such as “fishing” activities that target customers to access their accounts information; this also encourages us to make security awareness campaigns for the customers through different channels such as emails and mobile SMS service. We also have the “cyber readiness” systems to immediately react to these security incidents.
Could you tell us more about the new system to automate the risks management?
The NBE is currently working on automating the risks management, to be applied within one year and a half. However, this is related to all the risk management departments such as operation risks, credit risks and so on. With regard to information security risks, we are applying the international security standard such as the PCI data security standards and the ISO 271001, which enables us to be aware of the risks to address them.
How do you review the electronic banking systems in Egypt?
We have different channels like internet banking, phone cash and the mobile point of sale, all these are services that have been introduced to the Egyptian market last year and they have witnessed a massive turnout last year and have increased this year. The banking market in Egypt is coping with the global trends; however, not all kinds of people are using these new innovations.
What is the Egyptian market response to these new systems?
In the security risks management, we are testing all these new systems and I see them making a good market penetration in Egypt with a good market response especially in the phone cash service. The response will increase with the increasing of trust in technology; as long as the customers in Egypt feel that banks are offering services with high security standards, their trust will increase.