Digital Transactions have Increased following COVID Outbreak, which May lead to More Account Takeovers, Identity Theft

    The global banking sector has faced many challenges due to the socioeconomic problems resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. Many banks or financial institutions have had to shut down physical branches while asking their employees to work remotely in order to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus.

    But completing tasks from a remote location can pose certain cybersecurity risks, which need to be addressed in order to maintain a safe and secure working environment.

    Digital banking may offer faster transaction processing and a lot more convenience, however, customers and service providers are more vulnerable to cyberattacks because the majority of financial activity is taking place online.

    Banks need to learn how to train their workers on how to spot potentially fraudulent transactions or other cybersecurity risks. Staff members must also know how to effectively respond to cyber threats in a timely manner. Banks and other digital financial service providers must have a clear  emergency plan in place, so that they’re able to deal with serious cybersecurity issues.

    As noted by Security Magazine, there were over 650,000 reports of identity theft back in 2018.

    It can be a lot easier for some hackers to steal a customer’s identity in a virtual environment by exploiting security vulnerabilities found on digital platforms. For instance, a bad actor who manages to steal someone’s credit card would be able to make purchases online without the merchant knowing they’re using another person’s card. This would obviously be harder to do at a physical store where it’s possible to actually see who’s using the payment card.

    Cybercriminals who manage to break into an online banking portal can potentially steal the identities of many bank customers. The criminals would not be coming into personal contact with their victims, which could make such crimes more appealing, especially during the pandemic when there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of online transactions.

    With more people doing business online, hackers might also be focused on taking over users’ accounts. Account takeover happens when a bad actor gains access to another individual’s bank accounts and then changes passwords or other information like the victim’s home address or their email address.

    When this happens, the actual owner of the bank account will no longer receive updates regarding their account because the messages will be sent to the new addresses that may belong to the criminals. As confirmed by Security Magazine, account takeovers have increased significantly in the past few years, and might continue to rise during the pandemic.

    Hackers are also using malicious, automated scripts to attack computer systems every 39 seconds, according to digital asset security firm NGRAVE.

    Countries across the globe are taking steps towards ensuring consumer protection. The Reserve Bank of India recently released an updated cybersecurity report which outlines the technology vision for banks while recommending safe ways to interact in a digital environment.


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