Banks to Lawless Phishers: Do Not Enter

By Matt Hines Print this article Print

Financial institutions are creating multitiered solutions to protect online banking customers from fraud and phishing.

With criminals stalking their operations and customers, Wells Fargo and SVB Silicon Valley Bank can't afford to fool around with online security.

Just as riflemen rode shotgun on Wells Fargo stagecoaches in the 19th century, today, Wells Fargo and SVB Silicon Valley Bank executives are relying on whatever weapons they can get their hands on to help keep the bad guys at bay.

The most significant trend in the online business world over the last year has been the shift among hackers and other criminals from attacks aimed at disabling corporate infrastructure to threats that specifically look to steal companies' money and customer information.

In mid-October, London's Metropolitan Police Computer Crime Unit announced that the e-mail addresses, credit card numbers and transaction histories of approximately 83,000 U.K. consumers had been found on a PC recovered by law enforcement authorities in the United States. According to London police, the files were stolen from computers at an unnamed U.K. bank using a Trojan horse back-door virus that recorded individuals' passwords.

The financial and business losses associated with corporate data leaks have risen significantly over the past year. Click here to read more.

"Security has always been a cornerstone of what we've done as a business, and that's obviously changed over time and will continue to change as threats evolve, so we continue to work hard to do everything we can to protect customers without getting in the end user's way," said Jim Smith, executive vice president of Wells Fargo's Internet Channel and Products group, in San Francisco.

The benefits of achieving success in defeating today's criminal threats are hard to quantify in dollars and cents, as the return on investment for companies such as Wells Fargo and SVB Silicon Valley Bank are measured by the companies' ability to stave off potential attacks and the number of customers who remain willing to do their business over the Web. If successful in their endeavors to keep users protected and banking online, the companies also hope to keep their brick-and-mortar overhead expenses from rising to pre-Internet levels.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Banks to Lawless Phishers: Do Not Enter

This article was originally published on 2006-10-22
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