Akbank’s inability to serve its customers for almost two days has been one of the biggest technological crises that the banking sector has experienced in recent years.
Akbank’s inability to serve its customers for almost two days left many unanswered questions behind.
The fact that the institution could not give satisfactory answers to these questions for two days led to criticism that it did not manage the crisis well.
Akbank’s ATMs, bank branches, mobile transaction, internet branch and pos devices were inactive for almost two days.
In the statements made by the institution on Tuesday, July 6, when the problem arose, it was stated that a technical problem had occurred and that there was no cyber attack.
However, many bank customers criticized Akbank on the grounds that the institution could not respond to their grievances and that communication was not conducted openly.
Technology writer Hakkı Alkan states that the lack of a clear statement from the bank in the first days about the problem caused everyone to worry about ‘Is there a security hole’.
Especially at a time when banks reduced the number of their branches and carried out transactions mostly through online and mobile devices, the technical failure that lasted for such a long time led to questioning how strong and secure the technological infrastructure of Turkey’s banking sector is.
According to experts, banks in Turkey have a solid technological infrastructure; Taking lessons from this process, stricter inspections, better measures and better communication in such a crisis are among the things to be done from now on.
What happened in two days?
Akbank CEO Hakan Binbaşgil stated that there was a problem in the main banking system database and disk management system on Tuesday morning, July 6; He stated that all channels of the bank were affected by this problem and there were interruptions.
Stating that Akbank’s core banking application runs on the IBM Mainframe system, Binbaşgil said that during the 6th of July, work was carried out with the bank’s technology business partner, local and foreign experts; however, he stated that service continuity could not be ensured.
The US-based technology company IBM’s Mainframe system is a network of high-capacity computers that can handle billions of operations simultaneously.
Binbaşgil wrote that on Wednesday, July 7, it was decided to restart the database and disk systems.
Stating that this process was carried out in a controlled manner throughout the day, Binbaşgil stated that the transactions returned to normal as of Wednesday night.
Akbank CEO added that there was no cyber attack during this process and that there was no situation that would weaken the personal data security of customers.
“We learned lessons from problems”
Binbaşgil, in the text of the statement, stated that they learned lessons from these experiences and that they were ready to share what they learned with the industry.
ShiftDelete.Net informatics news The founder of the website, Hakkı Alkan, states that this situation at Akbank affects not only this bank but the whole sector, emphasizing that it is very important for banks to share their experiences with each other.
Prof. from Boğaziçi University Management Information Systems Department. Dr. According to Bilgin Metin, this process is a sign that Information Technology (IT) teams have a heavy load on them.
prof. Dr. Metin states that for Akbank’s IT teams, “It is possible to say that they have gained competence because they have solved such a problem.”
“Make sure that backup systems will be activated”
The main reason why Akbank’s technical problem in the main banking system continued for so long was that the backup system could not be activated.
Technology writer Mesut Çevik shared the information he had verified from Akbank business partners in a statement on his YouTube channel.
Accordingly, it was previously decided to move Akbank’s backup data center in Izmir to Gebze, Istanbul for security reasons after the flood; However, on the 6th of July, when the incident took place, the backup system could not be activated as the relocation continued.
Prof. from Boğaziçi University. Dr. The text emphasizes that it is necessary to ensure that backup systems can work when needed to ensure business continuity:
“This requires testing and verifying the backups taken. Likewise, drills should be conducted to determine whether disaster recovery centers or backup systems are activated in emergencies.”
What to do next?
According to experts, such a malfunction can always occur; The important thing is to be able to overcome such a problem quickly and undamaged when it occurs again.
ShiftDelete.Net informatics news Hakki Alkan, the founder of the website, emphasizes that Akbank is one of the leading banks in the world, very experienced in information technology infrastructure.
According to Alkan, who emphasized that Turkey’s financial infrastructure is also successful, a damage assessment study should be carried out regarding the process, and the state should carry out regular audits and controls in order to provide a sound financial infrastructure from now on.
Alkan says, “The state should attack banks with white hackers, convey the findings it obtained after the attack to the bank and say, ‘You have such a deficit, fix it’.”
White hackers are called experts who know the techniques and methods of hackers who commit cybercrime, recognize the tools and software used by hackers, and try to close vulnerabilities by finding system vulnerabilities with these methods.
Reminding that the regulations in the banking sector are strict, Prof. Dr. According to Bilgin Metin, the tightness of the controls will now be questioned more.
Metin states that “Information technology audits can only turn into a checklist on a piece of paper, whether there is a precaution or not. This reduces the effectiveness of the audits.”
Software developer and founder of Ekşi Sözlük, Sedat Kapanoğlu, said in a statement to Cumhuriyet newspaper, “Any kind of disaster can be repeated. The important thing is whether a faster, lossless and undelayed recovery can be achieved if this happens again.”