Banking security a top priority for SA business - survey

2016-03-31 11:55 - Duncan Alfreds, Fin24
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Bank ATM. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Cape Town – South African businesses have overwhelmingly demonstrated their desire for financial security, a national survey shows.

According to a survey of local companies by security firm Kaspersky Lab, 76% of South African companies prefer to bank with a provider that has a solid security reputation as financial transactions move online.

“Those banks that make security a priority and take every effort to ensure measures are in place to safeguard against online financial fraud will have an advantage, when it comes to retaining existing customers and reaching new ones,” Kaspersky said.

The survey found that 99% of companies use online financial platforms and 87% will pay extra to partner with banks that have strong security policies and track record.

South African banks have made strides to combat fraud with investments in security.

Social engineering tricks

READ: SA banks 'coping' amid global cybercrime wave

According to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), credit card fraud dropped 28.6% - from R353.3m in 2014 to R252.2m in 2015.

“The ease and speed of electronic communications make it possible for criminals to perpetrate their crime with anonymity, making investigations complex. Managing your internet banking profile and access, in order to ensure that criminals cannot steal your hard-earned money is extremely important,” Sabric said in a statement.

Cyber criminals are known to utilise social engineering tricks to convince company officials to make payments to unknown service providers with emails purported to be from senior executives.

Sabric advised that online banking subscribers should avoid using public computers to transact, store bank statements securely, and study your bank account for irregular transactions.

Kaspersky said half of companies surveyed said that they needed to improve internal controls to prevent online fraud in their engagements with banks.

Kaspersky which recently exposed the Trojan malware Asacub which is able to steal banking information, said it was critical that financial institutions operated like IT companies.

“All of their interactions with customers and partners are computerised and information is shared and stored online. However, despite the advantages it makes banking processes vulnerable and any compromise to the IT infrastructure can lead to huge data loss or, even worse, severe financial and reputational damage,” said Ross Hogan, Kaspersky Lab global head of Fraud Prevention.


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