BSP seeks tougher cyber-security for banks

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2017 03:17 PM

MANILA - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla said Friday an upgraded cyber-security framework will be released next month to boost the defenses of local banks.

The BSP is testing 2 new systems, including faster movement between the regulator and financial institutions and an automated complaint handling system for consumers through the internet, SMS and messaging app Viber, Espenilla said.

"Banks have made a lot of investments to level up their IT system," Espenilla told a forum.

Banks vulnerable to cyber-crime "can lose money there much more than any penalty we can impose," he said.

The central bank has tightened protocols since hackers shifted $81 million from Bangladesh's account with the New York Federal Reserve to a Rizal Commercial Banking Corp branch in Makati City in February last year.Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, central bank, banks, consumer, cyber-crime

The regulator fined RCBC a record P1 billion over the incident, which exposed the vulnerabilities of the local banking system to money laundering.

In June, the country's largest lender, BDO Unibank, admitted that 7 of its ATMs were compromised in a "skimming" attack that led to unauthorized transactions.

Earlier this month, the BSP order money changers and remittance centers to tighten record-keeping sytems.