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The Financial Express

Security lessons from ATM scam

| Updated: October 18, 2017 06:11:55


Security lessons from ATM scam
What if the EBL ATM booth had an automated security system where, anyone spending more than a specific number of minutes would instigate a signal to the EBL security stations? Or what if all the ATM booths had state of the art ID card readers to authenticate employee IDs? Could the ATM frauds be averted?
Although Bangladesh is the safest country in the subcontinent according to Gallup, the American performance-management consulting company, it is not the safest country in the world. Crimes do happen and accidents do occur, and victims become victims because either they do not see it coming, or fail to get justice because of a lack of evidence or because the perpetrators of the crimes remain behind the mist.
The number of crimes has been escalating in the recent years, and so is the number of unanswered crimes. There are two ways the situation can be effectively addressed. Either, the crimes have to be anticipated before they occur and the threats neutralised, or the criminals must be identified, caught, and made to face exemplary punishments.
For both these action plans to materialize, the importance of installing state of the art security systems must be understood at both individual and institutional level and people must realise the value of investing in their own security. A common misconception arises with this issue. It is often thought that security systems are expensive to install. Yes it was, even a decade back. But technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last decade, bringing installation of security systems well within most organisations' financial affordability.
Criminals also become smart and use advanced technology to commit frauds. The ATM booth scams, for example, has recently come to the limelight and has made bank security systems subject to intense scrutiny. Banks must take the issue very seriously and adopt advanced security systems like anti-skimming technology, silent alarm notification, video surveillance, ATM lighting and remote video monitoring, among others to protect the interest of their customers.
Why are crime rates in some of the safest countries in the world as low as they are? It is because the government, organisations, and citizens have, over time, adopted the highest possible security measures possible. It is because along with a dedicated law enforcement authority, the countries also have automated security systems installed not only at homes, but also in organisations and on the streets so that not only potential threats can be neutralised, but also the perpetrators of crime can be identified and brought to justice.
In Bangladesh, there is a need to become aware of this necessity. Action should be taken now in order to prevent the country from sending red alerts to the international community. More importantly, security has to be made foolproof. Latest information about security systems at individual, institutional, and national level should be made available and  there has to be enough mental preparation for investing in it, because, all efforts towards making lives better will be in vain if security is lax. 
The writer is Managing Director and Proprietor of Synest Electronics, the largest security solutions provider of the country.
 

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