2012, the year of online and mobile banking threat

As the world embraces online and mobile banking, concerns arise over the extent of data security the applications have.

Just last week, a report by Deloitte and Touche was released that showed East African banks as losing billions of shillings yearly from bank frauds, including on cyber space.

The report says that banks in the region lost over US$48.3 million in 18 months ending June 2012.

Kaspersky’s 2012 analysis report casts concerns on security on mobile banking and Internet banking. According to the report, attacks on online banking systems will this year be one of the most widespread methods of stealing money from rank and file users. The number of crimes committed in this area is rising rapidly all over the world in spite of all the technical measures taken by banks.

“We also expect an increase in attacks making use of vulnerabilities. 2012 will see cyber criminals making active use of a variety of exploits to spread malware as well as malicious programs containing exploits that can be used to escalate privileges and gain access to a device’s operating system,” Kaspersky warned.

Network engineers from Isolutions Associates (ISOLS) said that cyber crime is on the rise. Joe Mwangi of Isols also said that most of the cyber frauds that happen in banks are mostly inside jobs. The Deloitte report reflects this saying that 50 percent of the fraud was done by banking staff and officials.

Isolutions Associates provide online security and other solutions to companies such as Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank, NIC Bank, CFC Bank including Kenya Revenue Authority.

Daniel Kiilu, a Network Support Engineer puts the burden back to the service providers. He says they should take more precaution and care when distributing their banking services. He also tasked users to employ simple security measures including good password management.

Banks can employ extra security measures to monitor breaches. Mwangi explains that banks can ensure several levels of firewall with one that is able to track IP addresses and traffic. This will reduce online fraud from inside and outside the bank.

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