The Reserve Bank of India, on Thursday issued a directive to banks, asking them to upgrade the OS (operating system) on their ATMs from the current Windows XP to a different one. The move comes following an increase in the number of virus attacks seen over the last few years.
The RBI has given banks time till June 2019 to migrate the OS of their ATMs. Banks with unsupported versions of OS are susceptible to security issues, with the RBI aiming to enhance overall security.
The primary reason for RBI to ask banks to switch from Windows XP is because the OS has had no new security features added since 2014.
Banks could choose to migrate to Windows 10 for their systems, with Microsoft offering support and heightened safety measures in this OS. An updated OS could help prevent cyber attacks.
In addition to this directive on upgrading the OS, the RBI has also asked banks to implement other security measures. Banks have been directed to disable USB ports, implement BIOS passwords, disable auto-run facilities, ensure that the OS has been updated with the latest patches, etc.
Banks will have to ensure that they implement time-based admin access, with the RBI setting an August 2018 deadline for the same.
Around 50 per cent of India’s ATMs operate on Windows XP. As per the directive, the upgradation is to be done in a phased manner, with 50 per cent of all systems using Windows XP expected to be upgraded by Dec 2018.
Any bank which fails to upgrade its systems by the deadline could face action.
Sources: Deccan Chronicle, Financial Express