Emerging Issues in Security

Security Perceptions and Realities Get Mixed Reviews

Consumers are as much aware of fraud and concerned about data breaches as are corporate leaders in large boardrooms. Yet insights into the current landscape of digital threats and how well organizations are managing them vary based on whom you ask.

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How well firms optimize the ways in which they protect their businesses, customers, and brands can go a long way to putting all stakeholders at ease. An independent Banking Vertical survey commissioned by IP video systems manufacturer, March Networks, examines how fraud, customer service, and security perceptions are impacting banking consumer decisions in the United States. One key finding stands out in regard to security.

The Banking Vertical survey conducted by market research firm Ipsos earlier this year reveals that 15% of consumers experienced fraudulent bank account activity in 2016. Consumers felt that banks and credit unions responded successfully, however, with 85% of those consumers saying they were satisfied with how their financial institution handled the incident.

Conversely, the RiskIQ 2017 State of Enterprise Digital Defense Report conducted by IDG Connect reveals a bleak outlook of the digital defense posture across many industries. It states that enterprise security practitioners are overwhelmed by the scale and tenacity of external digital threats and lack confidence in their processes, systems, and tools.

Businesses today are in the throes of digital transformation, accelerating their online presence to enrich products, deepen customer relationships, and boost their brand, according to the report. But these organizations are struggling to protect new digital attacks from cyber adversaries.

The RiskIQ 2017 report found that an average of 40% of organizations experienced five or more significant security incidents within a 12-month period. Malware, phishing, domain infringement, online scams, mobile app exposures, and brand abuse are cited as most frequently reported incidents.

Big brands in banking, retail, and consumer goods had the most prevalence of attacks. According to the report, 68% of respondents express no confidence to modest confidence to manage digital threats; 70% cited no confidence to moderate confidence in reducing their digital attack surface; and 69% cited modest confidence to no confidence to mitigate or prevent external digital threats.

While the results are both eye-opening and disturbing, on a more positive note, according to the researchers, 44% of organizations plan to increase digital defense investment by 15 to 25%, and 14% plan to increase tool and service expenditure by more than 25%.

Other interesting perceptions from the March Network Banking Vertical survey find:

  • While poor customer service was the top reason consumers switched to a new bank, other drivers included the branch nearest them closing (14%), fraudulent bank account activity (9%), and safety concerns (9%).
  • Half of consumers walked away from an ATM without conducting their intended transaction because someone was loitering in the vestibule.
  • 90% of consumers think that visible surveillance cameras help deter crimes.
  • 60% of consumers noticed a fraudulent transaction before their financial institution, leaving plenty of opportunity for banks and credit unions to be more proactive when it comes to identifying and notifying customers about potential fraud.

“Today’s consumers want a mix of in-person and online banking service options, and have very high expectations when it comes to security and customer service,” says Peter Strom, president and CEO of March Networks. “The positive takeaway from this survey is that financial institutions are meeting these expectations at present, however will need to get even more strategic to retain customers and attract new business in their extremely competitive environment.”