Banks lose more than money to robbers...
By Jeff Minushkin, Chairman and CEO Priva Technologies, Inc.
The incidence of bank robbery is on the increase as evidenced by a trio of heists that caught separate midtown Manhattan bank branches by surprise May 6, giving New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly the perfect opening for a scheduled press conference on the alarming 300% year-to-year rise in the number of bank jobs perpetrated in the city from January through April.
Meanwhile, bank robbers have become bolder and more prolific in other parts of the United States in recent months, according to crime statistics.
Some say that would-be Willy Suttons are emboldened by the theory that law enforcement officers have been too busy chasing terrorists ever since 9/11 to pay attention to “mundane” crimes such as bank robbery. Others, including Chief Kelly, blame the banks for lax security practices.
The banks are accused of trying so hard to attract customers to retail branches that they’ve made their offices that much more user friendly for criminals in the process. Speculation also abounds that banks may see losses from bank robbery as being less than the costs of implementing more stringent security at branches.
But whether such intrusions are carried out by old-fashioned gun-and-note toting bandits or by even more prolific, computer savvy, electronic criminals, the cost of lax security for financial institutions is much greater than the cold hard cash taken in a heist. The true currency of a bank is trust and no one will argue that a bank loses a great deal of trust every time there’s a break-in at a branch or on a data network.
Bandit barriers and other visible security measures can help deter gun-slinging hold-up men to a large degree, but how does a bank protect itself from high tech robbers wielding PCs? The electronic threat is far more insidious since you need to worry not only about bad guys on the outside, but also about mischievous insiders – employees and ex-employees with a grudge and easy access to the bank’s databases.
Authentication is the answer. Some might say that validating the identities of all the people who need to access a financial institution’s computer networks is easier said than done. But, the fact of the matter is that new technology exists to make the task as intuitive as using an ATM card.
Here are four things to look for if you are seeking a truly effective authentication platform:
1. Is it easy to use, or is it so hard that the people who need to be validated will figure ways to circumvent the system?
2. Is the platform secure or can it be spoofed or cracked too easily?
3. Is the authentication robust, offering three or more factors of identity validation [something you know such as a PIN or password, something you have such as a registered token, something you are such as your fingerprint]?
4. Is it easy to integrate with existing operating programs or applications or new, custom designed utilities?
ABOUT PRIVA TECHNOLOGIES
Priva Technologies, Inc. provides a stand-alone, secure authentication solution for the builders, owners and managers of transaction systems that utilize, or should utilize authentication security. These include, applications that provide business-to-business transactions, enterprise security, secure e-mail, single-sign-on, travel reservations, online and offline purchases, payment services, banking, and financial products which are all empowered by user-friendly, highly secure authentication. Unlike other technologies that are notoriously hard to install or scale, have limited flexibility or are difficult for individuals to use, Priva's authentication system easily integrates with all sizes of enterprises and provides clear convenience for consumers. Priva, a privately held Delaware corporation headquartered in Cupertino, CA..