Over 20% of Middle Eastern banks fall victim to phishing

A recent survery highlights the state of online security in financial institutions in the region

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  July 17, 2008

A recent survey conducted by Readiminds, headquartered in Singapore, shows that over 20% of banks in the Middle East had fallen victim to phishing/pharming attacks in the last year.

The third in a series of global surveys, the ‘State of Online Security in Financial Institutions in Middle East - 2008' report included responses from major banks across the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait and Bahrain in the month of June.

Awareness of such incidents were low, with 75% of the respondents stating that they were not well aware of online security incidents in their own bank.

Software based two-factor authentication [2FA] methods, namely phone factor or device fingerprinting, is gaining increasing popularity in the region. Over 30% of respondents now prefer it over the traditional one-time pin [OTP] generating hardware security devices. This trend can be attributed to lower cost and user convenience.

There is a marked preference (over 30%) for integrated security solutions for new implementations - fraud detection and risk based transaction authorization together with stronger user authentication, for transactional security and fraud prevention.

Another point worth noting is that over 70% of banks in the Middle East reportedly still do not have a dedicated budget for online security.

The survey by ReadiMinds, a transactional security & fraud prevention software product company, highlights key issues in terms of online transactional security in the region.

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