BusinessDay

Spike in online attacks raises fresh security concerns for banks

Deposit money banks in Nigeria will need to step up investments in proactive online security measures, and put up effective defensive mechanism that can protects their business and retail banking customers against customer takeover, credential theft and fraudulent transactions.

This is in view of recent spike in sophisticated malware attacks specifically targeted at banks in the country. Amit Wohl, channel manager, Trusteer, a United States (US) based online security company made this known at a one-day seminar for members of banking industry and other financial institutions on cyber prevention organised by Trusteer and its Distributor, DataGroupIT in Lagos.

In its quarterly “Threats Report,” Intel’s subsidiary McAfee said that it had found more than 8 million new kinds of malware in the second quarter of 2012, up 23 percent from the first quarter. To this end, wohl said the business impact of malware attacks for banks today can no longer be neglected, further adding that Nigeria banks have become easy target for cyber criminals due to the increasing online presence of financial institutions. “There is a huge number of Nigerian banks targeted by malware and phishing attacks today. The reason for this trend is because banks have a growing online presence now. Nigeria’s banking industry is very strong”, he said.

While expressing confidence in Nigeria’s financial sector, he noted that the sector was characterised by huge economic activity, online banking that is up and running, robust regulatory framework that makes the sector very viable to cyber criminals. “We have developed a very successful intelligence collecting capability to ensure proper analysis, detection and blockage,” he said. He said that phishing is another challenge that banks and other firms with heavy online presence face in today’s technological driven economy, stating that Trusteer prevent phishing through a real time detection notification to the bank.

“There are lots of infected machines today and many customers are not even aware of it. The banking industry is witnessing lots of malware and phishing attacks currently and it poses significant challenges for banks in terms of revenue loss”, Dennis Lupambo, group manager, alternative channels, Ecobank said. Wohl however urged the government to develop requisite legislation to address cybercrime in the country. Analysts have said that malware attacks could cost banks several billion of naira in fraudulent transactions, replacing compromised bank accounts and the potential legal costs for law suits in case accounts compromised are business accounts. 

 

BEN UZOR JR

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