Sometimes it’s better to learn from the mistakes of others. One of the largest ever online data breaches has resulted in an $80 million heist from an Indian bank – all because it lacked a firewall.
Bangladesh Bank was frugal with their network security spending, using second-hand routers that cost $10 to connect to global financial networks, reports Reuters. That’s bad enough. But they also lacked any firewall whatsoever. This allowed hackers unfettered access to the bank’s funds once they knew the bank’s SWIFT login credentials. To cap it off, the absence of sophisticated switches has made it extremely difficult for investigators to find out how the culprits infiltrated the system or where they were located.
To backtrack, in February hackers attempted to steal around $950 million dollars from the bank, funneling the money through the SWIFT global payment network. Most of those transactions were halted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where the infiltrated account was held. But while most of the funds that were stolen have been recovered, about $80 million had been diverted to casinos in the Philippines and remains missing.
Our account executives say it all the time: The cost of implementing effective security measures is dwarfed by the cost of not doing so. But rarely is the evidence this obvious.