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June 26, 2015

Here are the selections Tech Talk Editors George Milner and Teri Wesley have collected from this week's tech news:
  • Better domains for banks
  • A call for more card security
  • Banks big on cyber hit list
  • Keeping an eye on ATMs
  • Branch-free banking
  • Risky mobile access
  • Mitigating insider threats
  • Banks turning to biometrics
  • Bitcoin ATMs: the pros and cons
  • Spam, Scams & Breaches
  • Updates, Patches and Alerts
  • and on the lighter side...
Better domain for banks
Beginning this week, financial institutions in the U.S. and Europe can register their websites with the new .bank domain name. Only verified members of the global banking community that meet enhanced security requirements will be able to register for the new domain name, reports Finextra. In addition to providing a higher level of encryption, the new domain will help prevent users from being redirected to fake bank websites and make it harder for criminals to create spoofed bank emails.

A call for more card security
In the wake of the OPM breach that has reportedly compromised the personal data of 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees and other recent high-profile hacks, consumers are growing increasingly concerned about the security of their personal and financial information. While the transition to Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) technology in the U.S. is expected to help reduce card fraud losses, many banks are issuing "chip and signature" versus chip and PIN cards. Retailers are calling on banks to step up and provide the more secure chip and PIN cards, reports CNBC.

Banks big on cyber hit list
Following in the footsteps of the infamous Willie Sutton, cyber thieves are going where the money is. The financial services industry is the most targeted sector in cyber attacks, reports CSO. Not only are banks at greater risk of attacks, but hackers take advantage of the trust consumers and businesses place in the industry when engineering malware campaigns designed to pilfer sensitive data from their victims.

Keeping an eye on ATMs
The industry is seeing an increase in attacks targeting ATMs – in the form of cyber and physical threats. In the first nine months of 2014, there were 433 reported attacks targeting ATMs, up 34.9 percent from 321 in 2013. Banks and ATM operators need to take effective measures to ensure the security of consumers' card data and, more importantly, the safety of their customers while conducting transactions at the ATM. ATM Marketplace has more on mitigating these attacks and the technology that can help banks keep a closer eye on ATMs.

Branch-free banking
Branchless banking is fast becoming a growing trend and a digital-only bank will soon be the first branch-free bank to make its debut in Britain. Atom Bank has received the green light to operate its mobile app bank in the UK, with a planned launch later this year, reports Financial Times. The mobile-first challenger bank will harness biometric authentication technology and partner with a traditional bank for customers who want to pay with cash and checks. Banking Technology has more on the rising competition from digital providers and the challenges it presents for traditional banks.

Risky mobile access
While financial institutions go to great lengths to protect their customers' data and develop secure mobile banking apps, a weak link in the development of those apps may be putting customers' financial data at risk. Researchers at Darmstadt Technology University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Security Information Technology found that app developers don't always follow the recommended security guidelines for data being stored in cloud databases. FierceMobileIT has more on the alarming amount of unprotected data stored in cloud databases that include your customers' personal info.

Mitigating insider threats
A mistake that many IT security professionals make is focusing all their efforts on protecting their data and assets from external threats and forgetting that sometimes the greatest enemy can lie within. A recent study conducted by Crowd Research Partners highlights some hard facts on insider threats and how many organizations lack the controls to detect or prevent insider attacks. FierceBigData has more key findings and a link to the Insider Threat Report.

Banks turning to biometrics
In an effort to detect and prevent fraudulent activity, banks are moving away from knowledge-based authentication methods and turning to biometrics and behavioral analytics technology for online and mobile banking. Research and advisory firm Aite Group interviewed 26 fraud executives from 19 large North American financial institutions on the latest threats to banks and their fraud mitigation efforts. Biometric Update has more on Aite's "Digital Channel Fraud Mitigation: The Mobile Force Awakens" report.

Bitcoin ATMs: the pros and cons
Despite the inherent security risks and ongoing controversy surrounding virtual currency, mainstream adoption of Bitcoin may not be far off. Recent research suggests that there were 1.3 million Bitcoin users in 2014, and experts predict that number could reach 4.7 million in 2019. ATM Marketplace presents an objective view of the potential revenue opportunities and the risks associated with the operation of Bitcoin ATMs.


Updates, Patches and Alerts...
— Wipfli

On the lighter side...
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