Addressing The Security Fear Factor

This week, CreditUnions.com takes a look at technologies and strategies that reduce fraud while boosting member confidence in their financial institution.

Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that nearly 1 billion data records were compromised during 1,500 breaches last year. That’s an average of more than four attacks every day in 2014 at an average cost of $3.5 million USD to the compromised company, according to a press release from information security research group the Ponemon Institute. In January, Forbes printed this listing of 20 major data breaches in 2014. Sadly, it’s all too easy to forget one or two or more of even these notable events in what’s becoming a sea of bigger and badder breaches.

Previously, consumers rarely thought about the security on their credit or debit cards, Forbes reports.

That’s not the case anymore. Today, credit unions and most FIs are deploying a range of technologies and strategies to reduce fraud while boosting member confidence in their financial institution. That’s what this week on CreditUnions.com is all about.

In New Mobile Apps Reveal The Many Faces Of Biometric Authentication, writer E.C. Harrison reports on the face and voice recognition system USAA launched two months ago.

The goal for us is how can we raise the bar on security and not impact the customer experience? says Gary McAlum, chief security officer at USAA.

For USAA, the answer for now is an app that gives users three choices for authentication. Read more about that app today. For Mountain America Credit Union, it’s fingerprint and optical scanning recognition.

The market is evolving rapidly, and security as well as convenience is top of mind for our members, says Shelby Peterson, manager of product strategy, online, and mobile services at Mountain America. We see more adoption and interest in biometrics as more devices are coming with these capabilities. Read more about MACU’s pilot program today.

When Credit Union of America rolled out its new mobile app in September 2013, it became one of the first financial institutions in the country to offer a digital safety switch that allows users to completely deactivate and activate their debit card, change ATM and point-of-sale limits, and block foreign transactions.

Nobody was doing it yet when we launched it, says Richard Logan, CUA’s senior vice president/chief information officer. But we thought it was an interesting idea that made a lot of sense from a security standpoint.

Members use the switch to control access to their debit card accounts for reasons ranging from controlling a teenager’s spending to the cardholder going out of the country for a few months. Learn more today.

Ultimately, operating in today’s environment of increased risk is not unlike giving a child the keys to the car for the first time. Both can be dangerous, stressful, and costly. And for both, it’s best to have a plan to minimize and manage risk.

You do all the things you can to minimize the risk, but you always live with it, says Mike Sacher, a CPA with more than 30 years experience working with credit unions.

In Two Ways To Combat Internal Fraud, Sacher breaks down different kinds of fraud for writer Erik Payne and also offers tips to mitigate harm. Check out Sacher’s advice, then double-check your own systems.

March 30, 2015

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