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The growing cybersecurity risks in digital banking

15 March, 2022

Digital banking has seen meteoric growth since its introduction in 2007, growing year on year to reach its current peak - where 80% of bank account holders access their accounts at least partially online.

Indeed, it’s predicted that living with the COVID-19 pandemic will have further accelerated online banking adoption for many consumers.

The reasons for its widespread adoption are clear - digital banking has always offered convenience when it comes to checking balances, making transfers and managing accounts whilst on the go.

However, a large proportion of consumers have previously been reluctant to use digital banking, for reasons such as lacking the appropriate technology, skills, or simply preferring to stick with what they know and trust.

The pandemic not only increased the urgency to use digital banking on the consumer end, but also forced banks to look closely at their investment levels in those digital solutions in order to provide consumers with amazing experiences.

Where there are financial transactions, however, there are criminals looking to profit, and that’s certainly true when it comes to digital banking.

What are the cybersecurity risks in digital banking?

Although there are so many benefits to digital banking, for both the bank and the consumer, there is one major negative: the increased cybersecurity risks. The finance industry is a top target for cyberattacks due to the information they process, not to mention financial systems that can be illegitimately accessed to steal money.

As account holders are using mobile devices, websites, apps and public internet connections to access their online bank account, these entrypoints provide weaknesses for hackers to exploit.

Which? recently analysed 15 banks and building societies’ online banking and mobile app banking platforms, and found “worrying security flaws”. These included insufficient password policies and the lack of two-factor authentication for critical actions. Some of the banks also lacked adequate software that was able to block dangerous emails.

The financial sector has been investing heavily in cybersecurity, with developments for enhanced cybersecurity tools being introduced on a regular basis to protect systems from hackers.

As well as making changes to improve their online security processes and tools, another important aspect of protecting the digital banking sector from cyberattacks is to implement a stronger cybersecurity training programme.

Many companies in the financial sector roll out “off-the-shelf” compliance training courses. Unfortunately, these courses fail to deliver the key outcomes that are required to develop a culture of cyber awareness among employees

Traditional compliance training is typically dull and disengaging, with employees not developing the required behaviours that will help protect the bank from attacks such as phishing emails in the future.

Bob’s Business provides a unique approach to online training by providing engaging courses and interactive phishing simulations. Our training helps to change employee behaviour, rather than simply providing generic information and tick-box questions. Our courses can also be tailored to suit the specific organisation, in order to target any weaknesses that the organisation has.

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Global Cyber Alliance