Phishing threatens consumer trust in online channel - Cyota


Cyota, the leading provider of anti-fraud and security solutions for financial institutions, today announced some of the key findings from its Financial Institution Email Fraud Survey 2004 conducted in April. The online survey, representative of the online U.S. adult population with a bank account, is the first survey to focus on the growing trend of financial institution email fraud, also known as phishing.

Phishing threatens consumers' trust in the online channel
As banks continue to encourage their accountholders to utilize their online services, fraudsters have begun exploiting accountholders' trust in their financial institutions and the online channel. Cyota's survey shows that 75% of accountholders are less likely to respond to email from their banks, and over 65% said they were less likely to sign-up or continue to use their bank's online services. In addition, consumer trust in e-commerce proved to be affected by phishing, 74% accountholders expressed that they were less likely to shop online due to phishing.

Banks need to invest more in education - consumers find it effective
According to Cyota's survey, while the current level of bank education is low, accountholders believe that bank education is needed and effective. De-facto, most accountholders, 67%, had not received any kind of communication or warning about phishing from their banks, but 91% of accountholders answered that communication from their bank in regards to phishing is helpful. Only 30% expressed a high level of confidence that they could distinguish between a real email and a fraudulent one.

When asked how familiar accountholders are with their bank's online data policies, and what information they will or will not be asked for online, 41% stated they were either unfamiliar or only slightly familiar with their bank's policies.

Accountholders look to their bank to protect them
When asked whom accountholders deem responsible for protecting them from email fraud and phishing attacks 67% felt the bank was responsible for protecting them, while only less than 50% felt it's the law enforcements' responsibility.

"Our survey has affirmed what our financial institution clients have expressed: that accountholders would like to be communicated with, they need to feel protected in order to be confident online, and they look to their bank to protect them," said Naftali Bennett, Cyota CEO, "The message is clear - email fraud is a threat to consumer trust in their bank and the Internet, it causes significant damages, and it is not going to go away - banks must take a pro-active role to fight phishing and secure their customers."

Cyota's survey, which was conducted with Infosurv, an online market research company, included 650 responses. The survey has a statistical accuracy of +/- 3.84% at the 95% confidence level.

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