BB to develop cloud service for banking solutions

Bangladesh Bank (BB) will develop its own cloud service to host the servers of all banking solutions through a digital framework.

The online cloud system is a new concept in Bangladesh which enables the systems to securely preserve data on internet-based storage or offline data centre.

There are currently 56 scheduled banks and 33 non-banking financial institutions in the country and all of those will be connected to the cloud service gradually.

The central bank is working with the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division of the government to host the server of all banking solutions on its own cloud system.

Sources at Bangladesh Bank informed daily sun that the central bank is now developing a guideline on the proposed cloud infrastructure. ICT Division officials informed that the draft guideline is ready for discussions and review.

“Data security is very important, particularly for the financial institutions.
The central bank can not depend on any foreign cloud service. After the unprecedented hacking incident, we need to be very careful in choosing any foreign hosting service. So we are thinking of developing our own cloud service for financial institutions,” a BB official told daily sun.

The central bank official also said that the security data does not depend on of the software only.

“Awareness of the users is most important to make the most out of any security software. When the end users will be careful about cyber threats, the banking solutions will turn fully secure,” the official added.

National Data Centre Director Tareq Barkatullah said most of the foreign data storage servers are dominated by the United States. The US government follows partial role in regards to the data security of non-US citizens. The US laws are very partial when it comes to the data security of users from another country.

Welcoming the decision developing a cloud system for financial institutions, Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) President Mustafa Jabbar said, “It is good to know that the central bank has woken up after the cyber heist. That kind of cyber theft is regular incidents in our country.

But the banks don’t reveal those to protect their image. The data security of the financial institutions should be regulated by our own management,” “The government never prefers foreigners in its security forces, but the bank officials love to install foreign software to become smart,” he said.

City Bank Managing Director Sohail R Hossain said the banking services will going to be ‘branchless’ in future as the financial institutions are making more investment in the development of cloud-based services than in infrastructure development.

“That initiative, in the long run, will serve our cost-minimization efforts by introducing smart banking. Then the size of the bank branches will become smaller, but the service area will expand with internet banking and video conferencing,” he said.

The central bank has had a bitter experience in getting the desired services from its foreign vendors hired for providing cyber security services. Two US-based companies – ‘FirEye’ and ‘World Informatix’ – were responsible for the cyber security of the central bank.

However, On February 7 in 2016, just two days after the cyber heist, Bangladeshi officials failed to reach their New York counterparts despite repeated attempts by email, fax and phone.