November 11, 2010

More banks are taking extra measures to improve security for their online banking customers. UBS began offering IBM's Zone Trusted Information Channel hardware device to retail and business customers in February, free to frequent users and about $62 to the rest. Community banks and credit unions have been strengthening their network monitoring for suspicious activity to detect potential break ins. Today, SunTrust, Atlanta ($174.7 billion in assets), announced it's using Trusteer Rapport software to help clients prevent malware attacks (other banks including HSBC already offer Rapport to their customers).

This activity is timely, as not only is the sophistication of phishing and Trojan attacks increasing, customers' perception of the safety of online banking is waning. IT security company Avira conducted a survey of computer users worldwide in September (with 3,127 respondents) that found that one out of every three users have chosen not to access financial accounts online. Almost 50% of respondents admit to being wary of online banking, while only one in five users feel secure while banking online.

SunTrust is offering Trusteer Rapport software free to its Online Treasury Manager clients. When clients download the software, it is said to protect data exchanged during web banking sessions and secure computers against Man in the Middle, Man in the Browser, and phishing attacks when using Online Treasury Manager. Trusteer Rapport also verifies that users are connecting to the legitimate SunTrust Online Treasury Manager site.