On the International Women’s Day, the Board of SBI has just announced what could be considered as an unwise move to allow women workers to work from home for one year. (As per news reports)

Is this a goodwill move for women employees? .. Perhaps it is intended to be so and perhaps the Board may also believe it to be so.

However there are two other dimensions to the decision. SBI is now merging its associate Banks with itself and will find this year to be a year of Chaos. At this time, there would be a huge excess staff and perhaps SBI Board considers it good if some congestion in the Branch is reduced.

By asking its  women employees to work from home they are being told that you are not required at the critical operation center. However we will pay you the salary but keep off the operations. This is an expression of no confidence on the women employees. This will be welcomed by all inefficient employees but many others would resent the need to get back to the family cores for the whole day without the relaxation of being in the Bank. However I am sure a majority of efficient members would be uncomfortable since they will lose competitive edge if they accept the “Home Based Work” instead of the Customer facing important work at the Branch and at the same time if they refuse to take the option, would find the pressures from the home front to stay at home increase.

But more seriously, SBI needs to consider the quantum jump in the Information Security Risks that will arise because some of their employees holding passwords on behalf of the Bank would now be working off-site on open networks and using their own computing devices when their attention is being diverted by the complaining mother in laws, the crying babies and the demanding husbands besides the servants and courier boys who may have more than prying eyes.

The “Techno-Legal- Behavioural Risks” of banking with SBI will therefore multiply.

SBI recently faced the massive card security breach and many cyber crime victims are still struggling to get their money back. Mr Urjit Patel is helping the banks to dodge the Cyber Crime victims from receiving back their dues by not operationalizing the August 11, 2016 draft circular issued by them.

But instead of providing a greater assurance to the customers about the security of the State Bank system particularly in the midst of the chaos of mergers which will be a fertile opportunity for fraudsters to indulge in massive phishing exercise, the Board of the Bank  has taken a political decision that will endanger the security of its account holders.

I urge Ms Arundathi Battacharya not to look at herself as a “Lady Chair Person” and push decisions that will endanger the community.

Our conventional media may not be able to analyze the impact of such populistic decisions and may praise the Bank.

But Naavi.org strongly denounces this populistic move and demands the Bank to explain what information security measures will be initiated by the Bank before the move is put into practice.

I urge the RBI to clarify if they have done their due diligence in this regard before the move was announced by SBI in the public.


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