Gone are the days of balancing check books. The advent of online banking has made budget-keeping and bill-paying a convenient, if not automatic, transaction for adults managing their finances.
Which is why it’s a prime target for cybercriminals.
According to a recent study by Fiserv, 80 percent of U.S. households now do their banking online. The sheer number of customers is a likely attraction for threat actors. But what makes online bankers irresistible prey is that a breach results in direct access to their money—no need to bother with a ransom. That’s probably why more than 25 percent of malicious activity online is aimed at financial institutions.
“Mobile banking has a tighter ecosystem than desktop online banking and some technical advantages that improve security,” says Seth Goldstein, a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) with nearly 20 years of experience in banking IT. However, mobile banking isn’t foolproof. In 2016 (so far), Malwarebytes’ Mobile Intelligence Database has flagged more than 12,000 unique Android application packages (APKs) as banker Trojans.
How cybercrooks steal your cash
From social engineering scams to spear phishing, there’s no method crooks won’t try to get to your money. The most common techniques center on fooling you into a sense of security by pretending to be your bank. Whether that’s in the form of a spear phishing email that copies the logos of your financial institution or spoofing your mobile banking app, criminals have become adept at pulling wool over the eyes of online bankers, who are now accustomed to receiving digital communication from their banks. Smishing, or sending malicious text messages, has been a popular attack method for years, luring customers into entering their login credentials via text.
In 2014, several thousand JP Morgan mobile customers received a text message containing a link to this phony login screen.
With so many susceptibilities in both desktop and mobile online banking, it’s important to not only choose a bank that offers high level protection for your accounts, but also take your own initiative to keep those accounts secure. That’s why we’ve come up with 12 steps for safer online banking.
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.
How to Protect Yourself While Banking Online