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Customers want stronger authentication for Web banking, says RSA

26 January 2007  |  12454 views  |  0 keyboard

An overwhelming majority of consumers would willingly ditch password protection in favour of stronger authentication technology for online banking, according to a global poll published by RSA security.

The survey of nearly 1700 customers in eight countries also found that the majority of account-holders - 82% - want banks and brokerages to monitor online and telephone banking transactions for suspicious activity - similar to the way that credit card transactions are monitored.

Furthermore, a massive 91% are willing use a new authentication method, beyond the standard username-and-password procedure, if their banks decided to offer stronger security.

Over two third of respondents (69%) say banks should replace the standard username-and-password log-in procedure with stronger authentication. More than half (58%) also want banks to ramp up telephone banking authentication.

But consumers are divided on the kind of stronger authentication they want. Nearly three quarters (73%) voted for "risk-based" authentication, which involves a behind-the-scenes assessment of the user's identity based on factors including log-on location, IP address and transaction behaviour. Around 40% said they would like to use a hardware token for authentication, while 56% opted for image-based authentication.

However, while many banks have begun moves to deploy stronger authentication over the past year, only 39% of account-holders are aware of it.

Chris Young, vice president and general manager of Consumer Solutions at RSA Security says as awareness of identity theft and online fraud grows, people want to feel reassured that they are in fact protected.

"Educating consumers about new security measures in place, even if they are invisible to the consumer, is advisable and would be regarded positively by the bank's customers.

"While most consumers don't want to be burdened with security, they still would like to know they are secure, and as we can see, they are willing to embrace the technology."

But RSA says the survey shows that phishing continues to erode trust in the online banking channel - with over half of resopndents saying security concenrs would make them less likely to sign up for Web banking. Another 44% say they have become increasingly concerned about other security issues, such as trojans and keyloggers, in the past six months.

Read RSA's research here:» Download the document now 476.4 kb (Adobe Acrobat Document)

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