The Security Outlook for Financial Institutions

Banking industry on high alert after breaches, incidents of identity theft

Gaur, DiamondCluster: Big banks engaged law enforcement agencies early to successfully apprehend and prosecute some of the crime perpetrators. Their deep pockets and access to a larger pool of resources allowed the big banks to act quickly, causing the attacks to shift to smaller banks. Small banks lack both deep pockets and adequate access to resources. Therefore, small banks have adopted customer awareness and fraud detection as their primary lines of defense. Small banks should consider collaborating to protect their businesses and customers.

Hunt, VASCO: Fraud always will take the path of least resistance. With respect to protecting themselves, the size of the bank seems to matter less than the bank's security strategy. The banks that focus on protecting their customers against fraud - and not merely adhering to guidelines - seem to work very similar to one another regardless of their size.

Nussbacher, Viisage: On average, large banks have been reducing their exposure to identity fraud through technology, and, consequently, much fraud is now directed at small banks. While some are adopting new technologies, others are fighting the problem by raising their guards and turning away prospective customers for whom little data is available (foreigners and newcomers often fall into this category due to their lack of financial history in the U.S.). While such a strategy is successful at fighting fraud, it clearly hurts banks' efforts at generating new business. This further exemplifies the need for multiple and complementary risk mitigation tools.

--Bank Systems & Technology -- 04/04/06