Comments by: Ian Hall, Manager, Client Success, APAC, Synopsys Software Integrity Group
Businesses nowadays are interconnected like never before and that includes their IT systems and in this case payment card systems. It is probably too early to say where exactly the problem originated from and whether it involves the payment processing or a back-end core banking system. Defects (or bugs) in software are incredibly common and most organisations do end up pushing them through into the production systems. There will be significant effort placed into making sure the most egregious bugs are weeded out early in the development lifecycle and also that sufficient monitoring is in place to quickly identify, fix and patch a problem. Core banking systems are usually based on older programming languages (e.g. COBOL, FORTRAN) which makes them more difficult to maintain since it may be difficult to find individuals with skills in this area.
I’m glad to see that as of right now, DBS seems to have identified the problem and based on a message on the internet banking logon page have already set a timeline that all refunds will be made by 20th June. However, I think that there will likely be some impact to the bank in terms of their user’s trust. In the past year, thanks to COVID-19, many have moved online for most of their banking needs and some of those people would have been reluctant based on the many scams going around. This will only have added to those individuals’ worries as they rushed to check their bank accounts and overloaded the internet banking site.