Bangladesh, with a population of more than 160 million has a mobile
subscriber base of more than 140 million. More than 90 million people have
access to the Internet, wherein more than 80 million are on mobile Internet.
Interestingly the nation has more than 25-30 million Facebook users while
simultaneously bKash – the most popular mobile banking platform – has
more than 24 million subscribers transacting more than 84 million US dollars
equivalent in local currency per day. More mobile banking platforms are
joining the race. And it is a story of success in the economic and
technological space of the country.
But on the other hand, there are issues of grave concern. The mobile devices
in the hands of subscribers or customers. The endpoints of the mobile
banking business and service. While the service providers in the financial
sector struggle relentlessly to secure their end (and they will continue to do
so across the world) the massive customer base out there are moving around
with vulnerable devices at hand. And that is a threat, not only for the
customers but the mobile banking system and service creditability itself.
Take a look at some of the statistics –
- The mobile malware continues to increase in complexity and scope
even throughout quarter 1 of 2019. Cyberattacks targeting smartphones
and other devices in the first half of 2019 rose by 50% compared to
- The number of malicious mobile banker packages circulating online
grew by 58% in quarter 1 of 2019.3. Google play store is a vast depository of numerous malicious apps.
- Millions of mobile phones come pre-loaded with malware. Google has
raised the flag on this itself.
- A recent study ranks Bangladesh ranking highest in mobile malware
Search the net and you will find more. The statistics paint the picture. The
threat exists and is real. On very plain terms it is quite obvious that the huge
number of vulnerable mobile devices in the hands of the people poses a
major threat to the mobile banking infrastructure and its services. Customers
and service provider both in exposure. Endpoints should not be left
unattended when it comes to cybersecurity.
Solving the situation would be quite difficult unless the mobile users
themselves are not made aware. Apart from controlling (as much as possible)
the import process of cheap and doubtful mobile devices, only a mass level
awareness campaign is perhaps the most effective solution. The banks, the
mobile banking service providers, the mobile internet service providers, the
mobile device importers and manufacturers, cybersecurity firms and the
government stand equally responsible for the awareness campaigns. Joining
hands in educating the mass would bring in multiple benefits.
It is important to educate the user base before plunging into technology. Else
the impacts in business continuity may come to be at risk.