During the pandemic, the number of data breaches has increased drastically: cyberattacks targeting banks have even grown by 238 percent. This fraud surge goes hand in hand with the growing use of the mobile and digital banking channels.
While this trend had already started before the pandemic, it was greatly accelerated when bank branches closed and the digital channel was the only option.
With one in three customers in Southeast Asia having used mobile banking more than they did prior to the crisis, and the shift to digital channels likely to be permanent, it is time for banks to lock-down the security of their digital offerings.
We discuss 4 key areas financial institutions should consider in order to protect their digital channels against fraud.
1. Become a digital-first organisation
The importance of having a digital-first business model cannot be denied after the pandemic. Many banks realised they needed to accelerate their digital transformation plans in order to meet consumers’ expectations.
As threats continue to rise, the security of customers’ accounts and sensitive data throughout digital and mobile channels has never been more critical. Approximately 25 percent of the 15 billion leaked consumer credentials available to hackers on the dark web contain bank account information.
Banks should look to adopt cloud-based platforms and security solutions for their back-end infrastructure, which will allow them to become more agile, respond faster to changing customer needs and react to fast-changing security threats.
2. Reinvent the customer journey
Often, the first experience a customer has with a bank is the process of opening a new account. However, this process is also highly targeted for fraud.
A study from Aite-Novarica Group states that 65 percent of anti-money laundering professionals say the use of synthetic identities in new account fraud is a bigger threat for banks than traditional identity theft.
If banks don’t catch a fraudulent attempt to open an account, they can face big losses.
Balancing security with user experience is key in optimising the customer journey. Customers don’t want to be prompted with a cumbersome authentication process.
At the same time, they expect to be protected from cybersecurity threats. Banks should implement adaptive authentication methods that only prompt customers with additional steps if risk is detected.
Security solutions like behavioral biometrics provide strong security that is seamless and convenient, yet invisible for the customer.
3. Protect the mobile platform
Banks are increasingly transitioning customers to the mobile channel. That brings the ability to build a clearer view of how customers are laid out within their organisation in order to consolidate and manage them in a central flow.
Modern mobile security solutions give banks additional controls for securing customer accounts, compared to accessing a bank account via a website.
Banks should prioritise securing their mobile banking apps on the client side through technologies like mobile application shielding.
In this way, banks can keep the mobile app secure even if it is being used on a jailbroken or malware-infected phone.
4. Leverage Artificial Intelligence to analyse patterns
Most of the time, hackers use a bot-like approach to push out attacks. This means that attacks are essentially the same every time for all of an organisation’s users. AI serves as the eyes that banks need to analyse the patterns that humans don’t pick up as quickly.
In the COVID-19 era, banks and financial institutions are working hard to digitally transform themselves while also providing the strong security and convenient experience customers want.
This requires coordination, collaboration, and implementing new technologies like biometric authentication and real-time risk analytics powered by AI and ML.
By embedding security into their digital services, financial institutions can protect their customers, defend against increased fraud and cybersecurity threats, and provide the type of seamless experience that will keep customers loyal and position the organisation for future success.
Financial institutions looking to combat fraud can gain insights from the KuppingerCole Report of Fraud Reduction Intelligence Platforms here.
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