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Fraud and Data Theft Risk – ACH, Wire Transfers, Online Banking, ATMs and More

According to the 2010 Cybersecurity Watch Survey, Cybercrime is increasing faster than many businesses can implement defenses. What started in 2009 was predicted to worsen in 2010 and beyond without effective controls and fraud detection says Gartner Analyst Avivah Litan. And we are witnessing just that. Average losses range between $100,000 to $200,000 per victim. The incidents are also primarily targeted at small to medium size businesses as well as government entities and school districts. Many of these unauthorized wire transfers and ACH transactions can be traced back to malware installed on the users computers. Still others involve the use of money mules to transfer the funds to overseas accounts. ATM’s are also increasingly targeted. The incidents are numerous and scary. Consumers are suing the institution, the institution is suing the business.

Is it enough to implement “commercially reasonable” security controls and have agreements in place? What are “commercially reasonable” security controls? The FFIEC says financial institutions should have made and continue to make, efforts to educate their customers/members. Because customer/member awareness is a key defense against fraud and ID theft, financial institutions should evaluate their consumer education efforts to determine if additional steps are necessary.

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