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Cyber-Security Alert - Pocket Banking is Attracting Virtual Pick-Pockets

Make an internet search these days for “chatting” and you will be hard pushed to find a picture of people talking together face-to-face. The world has moved on to the digital era.  Indeed, industry analysts believe more than one-third of all UK banking business will be conducted by consumers across their smartphones by 2020. Yes, that’s one-third using just their phone, not even a desktop or laptop PC!

But with that shift in fulfillment channel comes an increasing level of attention from criminals, eager to exploit new technology and some customers’ relative unfamiliarity with it. The industry analyst firm Gartner have concluded that the financial impact of cyber-crime will be growing by 10% year-on-year by 2016, adding weight to my previous blog.

Last July I raised some of the threats associated with poor defences on the mobile channel, and now experts believe that one-fifth of smartphones are already affected by malware. As my industry colleague and fellow guest blogger Andrew Churchill reflected last year, the de facto stance banks should take is to assume that any and every device is potentially compromised.

Consumer education and awareness is key, but so is robust electronic authentication – of the person, of the device, of the access, of the event. Detecting fraud attacks early requires a number of strategic and tactical applications to come together at one time to differentiate criminals and criminal activities from customers who want to use banking facilities without inconvenience. FICO is successfully partnering with web fraud detection leaders 41st Parameter in this area, leveraging analytic innovation and payee/payer profiling together with device profiling techniques.

The internet is a risky place. Just like a busy tourist destination, people should be warned: “Pickpockets are known to operate in this area.”

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