which costs banks about $1 per user, aims to
block those entryways when the bank’s customer is engaged in online banking transactions. “It’s much more convenient than having
a second computer” dedicated only to banking
transactions, Boodaei says.
However, fraudsters are devious and continually seek new ways to penetrate the browser, or
even infect a dedicated computer. “In terms of
security, there’s no silver bullet,” Boodaei says,
adding that Trusteer’s software automatically
pushes upgrades out to users in the ongoing
effort to counter new malware tactics.
For software such as Trusteer’s to work,
however, banks’ customers must be persuaded
to download it. As of mid-November, Sun Trust
saw an adoption rate of 10% for online treasury
users, McKinney says.
Sun Trust and other banks, large and small,
are also taking a very different approach by
implementing software that monitors corporate
customers’ online banking behavior patterns.
When the software spots unusual activity, it
alerts the bank, which can then take action.
The First Data unit that caters to financial
services companies—mostly community
banks—plans to integrate its ACH services
with software from Laru by the first half of
2011. The Laru software will monitor a bank’s
customer transaction files sent by First Data,
developing profiles of each bank client.
Mellani Ocampo, the bank’s business banking education officer, says other solutions Pacific Continental considered tended to be rules-based, requiring the bank to define problematic
activity and essentially predict fraudsters’ next
moves. Guardian’s software instead maintains
a dynamic profile of each customer, and so it
more accurately spots unusual activity.
In October, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that a cyber-crime ring
had stolen $70 million from U.S. banks. The
announcement came a day after the FBI and
overseas authorities made dozens of related
arrests in the U.S., Britain and the Ukraine. In
addition to stepping up enforcement, which
may act as a deterrent, agencies such as the
FBI and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
have recently issued warnings about the increase in online fraud.
Greater vigilance on the part of law enforcement and regulators, however, doesn’t mean
banks and their customers can let down their
guard. “It takes all these layers to keep this
type of fraud under control,” Sun Trust’s
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