Online banking systems more secure: Expert

Online banking systems more secure: Expert

PETALING JAYA - Online banking systems are more secure than automated teller machines and they are almost impossible to hack, an expert said.

Commenting on fears that Internet banking was also at risk after the recent cases of ATM hacks, Macro Kiosk Bhd CEO Kenny Goh said online accounts would only be compromised when users fell for common scams via e-mail or telephone or used an infected computer.

"The ATM hackings were isolated cases, whereby these hackers 'confused' the machines into dispensing cash. It would be impossible to do this with online banking.

"Internet banking uses a much more sophisticated platform, with several layers of security. ATM machines, in general, are still safe, but banks have to work with their software providers to upgrade their systems," said Goh, whose firm enables mobile security for banks.

He pointed out that most banks used three layers of security to ensure that customer accounts were not compromised.

"The first layer of security would be the username and password used to access the account. Second is the TAC number required for transactions, and sent directly to the user's mobile phone. If these two layers fail, there is a third layer, in which a confirmation SMS is sent to the user's phone after the transaction.

"If the user did not make the transaction, he or she can immediately contact the bank," he explained.

However, he agreed that hackers and cyber criminals were constantly coming up with new methods.

"As security vendors, we have to always be proactive to prevent any breach," he said.

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