Two Cyber Security Investments With a Silver Lining

Here’s a scenario. You walk into the office one morning and before you can even get a cup of coffee, you’re alerted that the firm’s website is down. It’s a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack and hackers are preventing your customers from accessing the firm’s website until your financial institution pays up. Or worse, hackers have stolen customer data and are threatening to release it.

Talk about a bad Monday.

MarketWatch reported that in April 2015, cyber attackers threatened more than 100 financial firms with DDoS extortion. It’s clear that cyber threats and identity theft tactics are getting smarter, and that banks need to amp up their security practices to combat this evolution.

But, with these threats comes a silver lining. Financial institutions have the opportunity to make security investments that also increase their ROI. Here are two such security investments:

Keystroke Encryption Software

By reselling keystroke encryption software to your customers, and making it available for your employees, you can profit from the security upgrade and stop the transfer of personal and sensitive information before it gets into a cyber attacker’s hands.

63 percent of all reported data breaches in the last 12 months originated with a keylogger. Keylogging spyware can be embedded in emails, videos and music files, software downloads and even legitimate websites. With more than 12,000 keyloggers in distribution, antivirus and anti-spyware aren’t enough to protect online activity from identity thieves.

Keystroke encryption software encrypts data instantly at the point of origin, when someone types on his or her keyboard. The technology protects everything from online transactions and network remote access to social media, personal and business information. In addition to reselling the technology to your customers, your bank may consider giving the software away to your commercial customers to reduce breach risk and the subsequent indirect risk to loans and card reissuing.

Total Identity Monitoring

Most banks offer customers credit monitoring. While credit monitoring is a good first step, to separate your organization from the pack and build ROI, you must go one step further and offer total identity monitoring.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, only 26 percent of stolen identities are used for credit fraud. Hackers steal your customers’ identities for a variety of reasons: utility fraud, employment fraud, etc. Do your customers know about these other types of fraud? Can you add value to your organization by educating them?

57 percent of banking customers surveyed by our company responded that they would be at least somewhat likely to switch to another bank if free identity theft protection services were offered. Banks can capitalize on this statistic and offer total identity monitoring while also educating customers about the other reasons their identities may be stolen. This service alone can reduce your bank’s commercial portfolio risk while also providing market differentiation.


Bryan Ansley is CEO of Secure Identity Systems, which provides financial service companies with identity theft protection solutions.

Written by BryanAnsley