Cyber Security to play major role in Strategy at Nations Trust Bank

28th September 2018

Information and cyber security are critical for businesses today, especially those that rely heavily on digital infrastructure such as Nations Trust Bank, with its comprehensive digital banking services. This need for cyber security awareness and readiness drove the senior management of Nations Trust Bank to go a step further and engage in a Game of Threats™, a proprietary cyber security strategy training programme for business leaders, provided by the international giant, PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers).


Speaking about the cyber security training, Nishan Mendis Executive Director Consulting Technology at PWC Sri Lanka said, ‘Game of Threats™ is a digital game that is designed to simulate the speed and complexity of an actual cyber breach. This is the first time that a bank or financial institution in Sri Lanka has taken such a comprehensive measure to ensure readiness to meet any cyber security threat, at such a high level.Our solution integrates elements of gamification and game theory to provide an interactive experience where client teams play both offense and defence. The game environment creates a realistic experience where both sides are required to make quick, high impact decisions with minimal information. At its core, Game of Threats™ is a critical decision making game that has been designed to reward good decisions and penalize poor ones. Participants walk away with a better understanding of the steps they need to take to better secure their companies.’


Information security is a key focus area for Nations Trust Bank. The organization is ISO 27001 certified and maintains world class standards in terms of information security, conducting security audits multiple times each year. The Bank also allocates vast resources annually to upgrade systems and to work with companies of global repute such as PWC to ensure the strength and integrity of its information and data systems.


Nisala Kodippili – Chief Information Officer at Nations Trust Bank elaborated further saying, ‘We rely heavily on digital banking; in fact over 50% of retail traffic now comes in via our digital channels. Therefore, cyber security is extremely important to us. Over the last few decades, cyber security has moved from being something only technical teams deal with to something that is also dealt with at the boardroom level. Senior Management may not need to understand the technicalities behind cyber security, but they do need to understand the practicalities of it and devise a comprehensive cyber security strategy as part of the overall strategy of the organization.


Given that the construction work at JKH Waterfront is ongoing, the new Nations Trust Service Center and ATM provides an easily accessible way for site-employees and officials to conduct their day to day transactions.


‘This is the 3rd time we are conducting cyber security trainings at the senior management level but this is the first time we have used simulations and gamification. Normally, we conduct classroom sessions as part of our cyber security training protocol but classroom sessions can never provide real world like experience and when it comes to the serious cyber security issues that we can face at any time, it’s essential that the Senior Management has hands on real-world training. Think of it like this, airline pilots in a flight simulator; different emergency scenarios are thrown at them so that if ever such a thing happens in real-life they know how to practically deal with it. Practical knowledge is the greatest asset when disaster strikes.


‘That’s why we decided to engage the services of PWC to use their proprietary Game of Threats™ cyber security training solution for business leaders. Game of Threats™ is a turn based digital game that lets players understand cyber security risks and strategies through real-time simulations. During our sessions we simulated live threats relevant to the banking industry so that senior management could better understand and measure their response capabilities, both immediate and extended.


Nations Trust Bank PLC is amongst the top 30 business establishments in Sri Lanka as ranked by Business Today Magazine, ably providing a host of financial products and services to a wide range of customers. Nations Trust is also the bank behind Sri Lanka’s first fully digital bank, FriMi. The bank operates 93 branches across the country, boasting an ATM network covering 137 locations, including 23 with Cash Deposit Machines, plus more than 3,500 ATMs on the Lanka Pay Network and is the issuer and sole acquirer for American Express® Cards in Sri Lanka.


Nisala Kodippili – Chief Information Officer

Nisala Kodippili – Chief Information Officer