Monday, October 1, 2012

Alert on Recent Hacking Activity

Quite a lot of buzz in the last few days over some of the largest US banks being the target of hacking activity.  While few community banks will be affected, customers who see the media coverage may, nonetheless, express concern.  Here are some talking points that I hope will help you in communicating to your employees how to address customer concerns.

1) These are denial of service (DDOS) attacks on the web sites of the banks in question.  The result of these attacks is to make some or all of the web site unavailable for use.  In some cases, the pages and links customers use to access Internet banking may be targeted.  These are NOT hacks into the customer information, however, merely a denial of access.  To date, no data has been exposed or compromised.

2) While the banks are of course the target of this activity (which appears to be politically motivated) the site hosts for the banks' web sites are actually being hacked, NOT the banks themselves.

3) Customers remain the weakest link relative to security breaches.  Use any opportunity to discuss such matters with customers to remind them that it is crucial that they have, and continue to update, current virus protection on their own computers and other devices.

4) Take this opportunity to be sure that your bank's systems are properly protected, with all security updates and patches applied.  Firewall reports should be monitored for unusual activity, as should all internal systems.  Raising your bank's and your customer's level of awareness goes a long way toward preventing unauthorized access.

As always, contact me if I can be of assistance in these or other matters.

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