2022 EFMD Case Writing Competition winners interview series: Finance and Banking

Finance & Banking category inteview

EFMD encourages and rewards innovative and impactful cases in management development each year. This year again brought an exceptional variety of winning cases across various industries. We interviewed the winners to find out more about their motivation, inspiration and significant challenges. The following interview is with Namratha Prasad of ICFAI Business School, the winner of the “Finance and Banking” category.

‘US Bancorp – Fighting Off Malicious Attacks and Ensuring Business Continuity’

What was the inspiration for your case?

The banking sector is being revolutionized through an exponential increase in the usage of information technology (IT). Banks are using IT to offer better services to their existing customers, attract new customers, create new revenue streams and develop a competitive advantage over other banks. However, the rising usage of IT has also led to an increase in the security threat to banks from criminal entities, sometimes from various parts of the world. Thus, cyber security has become the primary concern for banks.

These issues made me look into the way individual banks were handling the various threats and I discovered that the US bank had not only successfully overcome several of such malicious attacks, but had also made judicious use of the latest technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to fight the menace. In addition, the bank had a clear-cut business continuity plan in place to evaluate the impact of significant events that could adversely affect customers, assets, or employees and to enforce requisite corrective measures.

What were the major challenges in designing the case?

There were a significant number of IT concepts and terminology that were a part of the case. Putting that across in such a way that even a layman could understand it was a challenge. In the real world, most bankers and management students would not have sophisticated IT knowledge but are required to have basic awareness of technology to detect and confront any fraud, as soon as possible.

I wanted management students to clearly understand the various malicious threats that the US Bank was facing, to make them familiar with the scenario in today’s banking. Furthermore, I wanted them to learn about how IT could be used as a fine-tuned weapon to fight against such threats. I faced the challenge of writing the case in such a manner that students and educators were not overwhelmed with the IT terminology and had a clear understanding of the fraud detection and containment systems.

What would you like to highlight from your case?

US Bank was one of the first banks in the US to offer customers various technologically advanced services. It was familiar with AI and had been using it for several years for various purposes. That aspect enabled the bank to be aware and eager to adopt new-age technologies and systems that were being developed to fight fraud. Thus, it becomes evident that banks that have been technologically savvy are more likely to adopt technology to fight fraud.

It was another fact that the US bank’s leadership was proactive and open to exploring various technologies to fight the rising number of malicious attacks.  It was not only through technology, the US Bank also fought fraud by educating its employees about information security, with it being one of the mandatory training requirements. The bank also took steps to educate its customers about different types of fraud they might experience and the ways to counteract them if they became a victim of fraud.

How do you believe your findings could impact society and business in the future?

In today’s fast-paced world, banks need to be continuously one step ahead of fraudsters to ensure customer convenience, smooth operations, and unbroken economic activity. Banks have to capitalize on breakthroughs in AI and ML technology in detecting fraud. They should ideally build or integrate advanced fraud prediction models to proactively detect irregularities and weed out suspicious activity.

Considering that banks might not be completely aware of the ever-changing technology landscape, they should have several dedicated security teams to anticipate, address, and help prevent security threats. They should learn industry best practices in ‘Fraud Detection and Containment’ and adopt them astutely. Additionally, they should collaborate with external cybersecurity firms to solve serious security issues and take preventive measures.

The Sponsor’s Commentary

The category “Finance and Banking” is kindly sponsored by Portsmouth Business School. EFMD greatly values the sponsorship, the expertise and the effort of the sponsor to contribute to the Case Writing Competition.

Khaled Hussainey from Portsmouth Business School shares more information about sponsoring the category.

Why is case writing and teaching on Finance and Banking important?

It is important to promote case writing in the field of Finance and Banking in the current global context because it helps individuals (students, researchers and/or practitioners) to develop essential skills and understand the complexities of the financial industry around the world. It also helps individuals to stay informed about recent developments, innovations and regulatory challenges in the financial industry worldwide. As part of the University of Portsmouth’s broader internationalisation strategy, we developed researcher-oriented links with the EFMD to support case writing in the category of Finance and Banking.  We employ our expertise to assess and evaluate case writing submitted to EFMD.

Further comments on the winning case

The winning case of the 2022 edition was ‘US Bancorp – Fighting Off Malicious Attacks and Ensuring Business Continuity‘ by V. Namratha Prasad, ICFAI Business School, IN. The case acknowledged the fact that the bank is using IT to offer services to its customers. The dark side of the use of technology is cyberattacks targeting banks from criminal entities around the world. The case described the cybersecurity threats faced by a US bank, including the vulnerabilities they encountered.  It also discussed how the bank’s response to these cybersecurity incidents, including how they detected and mitigated these threats. It provided useful insights into the importance of the investment in cybersecurity measures and the use of technological innovations such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to prevent malicious attacks that potentially affect financial and customer data. The case provided a framework for banks to ensure both disaster recovery and business continuity. It also provided insights into how a leading US financial institution addresses cybersecurity threats by using technological innovations and educating its employees and customers about information security to ensure business continuity.

About Sponsorship

EFMD Case Writing Competition is proud to have dedicated sponsors who drive management education towards impactful teaching and learning. Sponsoring a category allows you to showcase your institution’s expertise in the specific field of management education in the wide EFMD network. The choice of category, its exact definition and any specific conditions are the privileges of the sponsor. Sponsorships for the following categories are currently available – Bringing Technology to Market, Continuous Improvement: the Journey to Excellence, Hidden Champions, Responsible Business, MENA Business Cases, and Responsible Leadership. If you are interested in sponsoring the mentioned categories or launching a new category relevant to case writing and teaching, please check out our category sponsorship opportunities page or contact Hansol Park at .

More information about the 2022 EFMD Case Writing Competition can be found on the EFMD Case Writing Competition page. Please visit The Case Centre’s webpage to access the collection of the winning cases. See other interviews from this series.