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Identifying major threats to ACH cards, wire transfers

Sep 07, 2013 Dave King

Identifying major threats to ACH cards, wire transfers

As more companies begin to shift accounts payable and receivable processes to automated environments, security continues to be a more weighty and realistic fear among regulators and advocacy groups. ACH cards, wire transfers and other automated transactions have become some of hackers' favorite targets, especially for new entrants to the digital payment landscape.

For this reason and more, all enterprises should conduct thorough vulnerability checks and market research to understand the threats which might face the internal infrastructure. Additionally, by maintaining stringent oversight of all accounts payable and receivable activity, companies will be better positioned to avoid financial and information losses to the tactics of digital criminals.

Start at the top

Bank Info Security recently asserted that hackers which target ACH cards and wire transfers are increasingly leveraging account takeovers to steal money and information before being noticed. This tactic has become so common because of how easy it is to carry out, with the hackers taking advantage of weak usernames and passwords to gain control of an online account.

According to the news provider, consumers consistently use the same usernames and passwords for various accounts, including those on social media and gaming websites. In essence, if a hacker obtains the credentials from an unsecured website, they can apply the same login information to banking accounts, resulting in substantial damages.

What's more, this problem is not unique to consumers, but is rather a common issue that faces businesses and employees on a regular basis. The source stated that experts believe companies which partake in online banking, e-commerce and any other digitally based information sharing processes should enforce authentication best practices among all users.

This would mean educating employees and clientele in the strongest password and username protections, which could halt an account takeover.

Don't forget the basics
Several studies released in the past few years have indicated that the vast majority of ACH card and wire fraud events, as well as data breaches at large, could have been avoided had simple security frameworks been in place. Organizations can dramatically reduce the chances of financial loss and damaged reputations by implementing data security solutions, firewalls and network monitoring tools.

Additionally, a high rate of breaches are caused by human error and internal threats. Businesses should consider training employees and customers in the best practices of information disclosure, safe Internet activities and the basics of ACH and wire fraud to further strengthen protections.