Tuesday 23, January 2018 by Jessica Combes

Secure internet banking in Lebanon discussed at roundtable


The RIPE Network Coordination Centre (NCC), in cooperation with Data Consult, recently gathered the key stakeholders in the Lebanese banking sector for an important roundtable discussion on secure banking and internet banking resiliency.

Titled “How resilient is your internet banking?”, the event which took place in Beirut, Lebanon, comes at a time when banks and other financial institutions in the country and other parts of the world are becoming increasingly reliant on online information technology (IT) systems for smooth organisational operations, high productivity, and enhanced customer experience. Global financial institutions and banks are under immense pressure to ensure a stable, secure and resilient access to the internet given the potentially enormous costs of failing to do so.

Being disconnected from the internet is considered a catastrophic event by the banking sector. As such, it has become extremely important for banks to establish full network resiliency as well as full autonomy in data routing, according to Paul Rendek, Director of External Relations at the RIPE NCC.

Rendek added that during the roundtable session attended by experts from the RIPE NCC and senior executives from the Lebanese banking sector, various ways to achieve these goals were studied. Steps toward these goals included obtaining their own internet Number Resources for their networks, the importance of multi-homing their network and internet traffic flows and dealing with risk on the network such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, filtering and malware. “Through this roundtable session and similar events that we organise, we confirm our commitment to work with our members and internet community in the Arab region to advance internet development addressing the issues and requirements related to this sector that focused on resiliency and security,” Rendek added.

In the evolving threat landscape, the fortress-approach to security is inefficient, attention needs to be connection-specific and defences must be built inside out. With software-defined architectures, networking is also being recreated placing security at its core. It's time to redefine the way networks are built and the way users are connected to data, added Marc Nader COO of Data Consult. “There were some very interesting discussions with security experts from the banking community and valuable insights from RIPE NCC during the meeting. I believe it's time to start preparing for an open security forum in our country.”

Parallel to the banking roundtable, the RIPE NCC also conducted a training session in Lebanon for Law Enforcement Agencies. The “LIR Training” is an introduction to the RIPE NCC's administrative procedures and RIPE Policies related to obtaining and distributing internet resources (i.e. IP addresses, AS Numbers and reverse DNS delegation) and operating a Local internet Registry (LIR). The course includes a basic introduction to the RIPE Database.

The RIPE NCC is continuously collaborating with government bodies and other concerned organisations to adopt a clear methodology that contributes to the common objectives of developing the sector and adopting the latest technology for internet security.

The two RIPE NCC-led events included several sessions that explored the technical challenges facing the internet as well as internet resources in Lebanon and capacity-building initiatives aimed at supporting further development of the internet community in Lebanon and other Arab countries.




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