Lockdowns have unleashed an uptick in cybercrime. Training and digital cybersecurity tools are key to taking it on.

Cybercrime has been another epidemic that has arrived in tandem with Covid-19. Data theft, unauthorized transfers and appropriation of funds have shot up in the last few months, alongside an increase in the use of digital channels for financial operations and a rise in people working from home.

Between February and March of this year alone, more than 300 phishing websites related to the pandemic were registered, according to Kaspersky. For 2021, it’s forecast that the annual cost of cyber-crime will be USD 6 billion; on top of generating upsets in the affected companies.

“Besides the direct consequences for the victim, an incident of cyber-security can put the entire infrastructure of the company at risk if the device is connected to the corporate network,” Dmitry Bestuzhey, the director of Kaspersky’s investigation and analysis team in Latin America, warned in a recent publication.

With sensitive data and thousands of digital users, financial institutions are among the most vulnerable cyberattacks. To face the risks, there are key security solutions that banks should prioritize.

Training for Staff and Clients

A craving for information as we face the unknown has pushed people online in a search for answers – but not always from official or reliable sources.

In particular, two bad habits have taken hold in recent months, says Juan Fallas, a technological auditor specializing in banking. The first is surfing the internet on corporate devices andclicking on content that could pose a digital threat to the organization.

The other is acting in a rush after incorrectly reading information – something that we see in phishing scams that use social engineering, so that the user doesn’t properly scrutinize the content before clicking.

To shore up their defenses, banks should provide clear information to users and employees, through multiple channels, about cybersecurity. Among the points to be covered are how to recognize a phishing attempt and how to protect personal data online.

As well as training staff and users, a second key to ensuring bank cybersecurity is the importance of keeping up to date with new trends and tools of defense.

In a digitalized world, new means of attack can be unfurled at a speed that was previously unthinkable. Being up to date with cybersecurity news requires continuous learning.

Even though the pandemic has brought new challenges for banking, it is also a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the cybersecurity environment, a trend that will continue into the “new normal”.

Tech Tools for Digital Security in Banks

In technological terms, banks should incorporate multiple tools to heighten the security of their customer-facing digital channels. Among them, tokenization should be included, as well as two-factor authentication, biometrics, virtual cards, and push notifications.

The use of biometrics is without a doubt a great opportunity for the financial sector, because it presents transformative benefits for both parties.

For banks, biometrics offer a greater layer of security, offering a chance to digitize services that previously required an in-person branch visit. For users, the technology provides them with a truly easy-to-use, quick and natural experience, as it requires a less of effort than, for example, trying to remember countless passwords.

Virtual cards generate a unique code for a certain transaction and a specific amount, meaning it can’t be used elsewhere if the data is stolen. At the same time, push notifications offer an extra layer of control, requesting client approval for transactions outside the usual patterns.

These factors are important to protect the authentication process for users at sign-on or when executing a transaction. They go beyond a password, offering more security to prevent potential theft of sensitive data.

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