CIO Symmetry

Dec 5 2008   2:46PM GMT

Bank of America rolls out new secure online banking tool

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

Bank of America has introduced a new security feature for customers – the SafePass Card. Adding more protection to transactions, the SafePass Card is Bank of America’s next layer of secure online banking.

Smartphones are being used as digital wallets, mobile online banking is occurring more frequently and Wi-Fi access points are turning into cybercrime hotbeds. The Georgia Tech Information Security Center’s Emerging Cyber Threats Report for 2009 cited malware, botnets, cyberwarfare and threats to VoIP and mobile devices as the top security threats to be aware of – all of which aim to steal your data.

It’s no wonder one of our largest banks is looking to provide more online peace of mind. With keystroke loggers infesting email, IM and (the recently popularized) infected links on social networking sites, cybercriminals can steal your two-step login information and gain access to your account. For customers wanting added protection, the SafePass Card generates a six-digit, one-time pass code, necessary to complete online transactions. Customers can either receive the pass code via text message or by purchasing a wallet-sized card ($19.95) that generates the code (think chip and pin meets Magic 8 Ball)

And who wouldn’t want more secure online banking? Malicious programs are on the rise and many companies are not prepared for them. Naspera Networks recently issued the results of a corporate network security survey. Two hundred small and medium-sized enterprises answered a series of questions probing them on network security and potential threats. According to the results, most companies surveyed were not as secure as they could be (or wanted to be). What were the networks’ weakest links? Respondents cited as the primary offenders computers not kept up to date, Wi-Fi security and encryption practices, unknown threats from mobile workers and laptops, an increased need to provide guest access and an overall lack of policy governing endpoint security.

The SafePass is a step in the right direction. Just don’t lose the card … or your mobile phone.

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