Is your ‘SAFE’ safe?

Pay your friend for your share of pizza, pay your electricity bill and your rent sitting in the passenger seat of your car, transfer funds to avoid an overdraft sitting in the very comfort of your home. Mobile banking has affected us in so many ways. Can this be considered safe with so many thieves lurking around corners of webpages trying to get a glimpse of your credit card details and banking passwords? Hackers and fraudsters can propagate malicious code and retrieve account information resulting in public disclosures. Banks have also started introducing money transfers on social networking platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter to pay your folks when and as you like. This could lead to the emergence of new threats. The security architects should be forewarned and arm themselves accordingly to make the applications impenetrable and prevent security breaches.

Financial institutions have been investing heavily in application security. They have also vouched to cover customer’s application fraud losses enhancing the trust relationship among their customers thus promoting the use of these applications. However some perceived risks can act as a hindrance to adopt mobile banking applications. Bio-metric based security is also an add on to certain applications securities when it is coupled with the existing security thus making it impermeable. Consumers can be vulnerable because most of the mobile application users have no form of anti-virus or anti-malware softwares available on their phones and most of the users who are aware, download free versions of these softwares which generally serves no purpose.

The old paradigm of banking security of putting away money in safety lockers hidden in strong brick walled buildings is one of the strongest reasons that some customers still opt to go to the bank and make transfers instead of using mobile applications to perform the same. If the customers are aware of the safety standards of these applications, they might consider it and start developing a wallet like relationship with their phones. Laws should be established to maintain security standards and make banks liable if they fail to do so.

There are so many variations in security technology used by banks making it more difficult for data penetrations by hackers and fraudsters. Banks offer a 3 domain security (3- D security) to further protect credit card information from potential hackers. Further geo-location also helps banks to curtail frauds, for example, if a credit card is used in a location far away from that of the phone’s location, chances are that the credit card is lost and stolen. Banks are continuously researching on the latest technologies to bolster the defences of their applications and enhance their fraud prevention technology.

There is a rise in viruses and trojans over the years making mobile applications susceptible to data threats. The architects must deploy applications which are safe by continouos checks and innovations in their technologies. With increasing customer awareness and protection offered by banks, mobile application usage has increased and eased the cumbersome lives of the people.

Published on Jul 8, 2015
Written by Kavitha Ramamurthy


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