The Reserve Bank of India has constituted a team of ethical hackers to check the security systems of banks for vulnerabilities, The Economic Times reported on Monday. In the first phase of this initiative, the team led by retired Indian Police Service officer N Sarve will focus on the security systems of public sector banks, according to the report.

This is part of a larger security initiative by the RBI, which will also conduct planned and unplanned audits of bank security systems. Ethical hacker and Lucideus Tech Chief Executive Officer Saket Modi said Indian banks had a “long way to go” to achieve a degree of security against sophisticated cyber attacks. “Banks, however, are the more matured among other industries...where the focus on cyber security is still extremely low,” Modi said.

Spherical Defence Chief Executive Officer Dishant Shah said banks had become a “high-value target for hackers” following demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in November 2016. “Digital transactions have increased exponentially and this has led to an increase in payment security incidents,” Shah said.

Data with the Union Finance Ministry has shown that 56% of the Rs 485 crore lost by the top 51 banks in India between April 2013 and November 2016 was because of net-banking thefts, card-cloning incidents and other breaches.