News & Resources

Increased digital mobility from banks means expanded security concerns

Feb 24, 2012 Karen Umpierre

As businesses continue to offer online and mobile transaction solutions, security measures are being taken to ensure the level of identity and financial thefts are kept to a minimum. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there were more than 250,000 complaints of identity theft during 2010. While that’s a decline of 65,000 from 2008, experts believe banks and companies must act vigilantly to reduce those figures even further. Julie McNelley, an analyst for a leading financial services business, revealed to Bank Info Security that her organization predicts by 2014, approximately 44 million consumers will use mobile banking. One problem McNelley noted was that many banks are releasing their latest mobile solutions to clients before thoroughly analyzing the risks involved. As may be common in a globalized and fast-paced world, some companies may distribute their latest software to the public quickly in order to gain an edge on their target competition. Although this may give a company a short term financial gain, the long term effects could be harmful if security issues are not resolved. "People are going to have to be more proactive; you can't be taking a wait-and-see approach …We're already seeing Zeus and SpyEye Trojans in the mobile channel," McNelley told the news source. "The opportunities for cross-channel fraud are interesting … We are seeing some attacks on Android that are recording entire voice conversations, which is pretty unique the mobile environment," she says. McNelley went on to mention that fraud linked to automated clearing house will increase as banks continue to adopt mobile and online financial solutions. "We'll see the same threats that are affecting the online environment affecting the mobile environment," she said. "From that perspective, ACH fraud will be a concern." To be considered a leading and reputable financial solutions agency, security must be at the forefront of mobile and online platforms. The theft of one account can lead to a loss of thousands for the consumer and bank, even if the criminal is caught in a swift manner. Regardless, the most important facet of a financial institution is the overall security of their accounts and funds. Instead of catching a criminal after the act, an organization should make sure it's not possible to hack into their database in the first place.