How to outsmart bank fraud with real-time cybersecurity

By and Oscar Flores | 3 minute read | January 29, 2019

At Banco Santander, we’re committed to protecting customer data against cyber attacks. We’re constantly adapting our security systems to meet fraudsters’ increasingly sophisticated methods of stealing customers’ login credentials, information and, ultimately, their money. But no matter how advanced our systems are, our customers are often the greatest points of vulnerability.

Customers – the weakest link in the security chain

Most people don’t realize how easy they make it for cyber criminals to steal their information. When they share their most personal details on social media, they open themselves up to cyber attack and the theft of their online banking credentials. They place too much trust in online interactions, giving strangers access to credit card numbers and identification information without understanding the enormous risk they are taking.

Because people often make it so easy for cyber criminals to get their information, particularly on social media, banks need to make it harder for them to get to our customers’ money.

At Santander, we’re especially focused on keeping our mobile banking channel secure as more customers interact with the bank through mobile devices. We wanted to deploy a state-of-the-art security tool that could quickly identify and allow us to stop fraudulent logins and transactions, without interfering unnecessarily with the customer experience.

Choosing the right security tool

We chose IBM Trusteer Pinpoint Detect to help us protect our digital channels. It not only protects against fraudulent transactions and account takeover, it can also help detect end user devices infected with high risk malware. The solution, which is cloud-based, delivers real-time threat data that integrates with our other cybersecurity systems so we can counterattack or otherwise control the fraudulent incident.

Using behavioral biometrics, the Trusteer solution builds a customer profile based on normal account activity, including location, device, mouse gestures, clicks, access patterns and more. It continuously authenticates the customer’s identity by monitoring for behavior that doesn’t fit the profile. When the solution does detect abnormal behavior, we can alert the customer and block unauthorized transactions before they cause damage.

Seamless, customer-friendly fraud protection

Trusteer is customer-friendly, as well. It provides friction-less authentication for trusted users, so our customers reap the cyber-protection benefits without having to negotiate too many security gates to access their accounts. With the Trusteer tools, we’re relying less on security checkpoints such as CAPTCHAs and security questions, which tend to frustrate customers. Santander customers can also download IBM Trusteer Rapport, security software designed to keep their financial details safe.

Trusteer has also helped us reduce our false positives by approximately 50 percent. We still protect customers, but they receive fewer unnecessary notifications or inquiries as to whether transactions were legitimate. We expect the false-positive number to continue to decrease as we develop even more synergy and improve our workflow with IBM.

The future of banking cybersecurity

It’s exciting to see how banking security continues to evolve, but so does banking fraud. We think we’ll see more banks adopt solutions like Trusteer that use machine learning and behavioral biometrics to monitor and identify patterns that stray from normal customer behavior. And real-time monitoring and analysis means that banks can quickly zero in on and even shut down potential threats. These insights make it easier to target cyber crime and resolve incidents quickly, helping Santander and other banks stay ahead of cyber criminals.

We want to make it as difficult as possible for fraudsters to steal our customers’ money, even when our customers are making it easy. That’s why solutions like Trusteer are so critical to the future of banking security. They continuously learn from and adapt to the evolving threat landscape, so we feel like we’re ready for whatever fraudsters might try in the future.

Watch Carlos Olavarrieta and Oscar Flores talk about how Banco Santander is detecting and stopping cyber fraud with IBM Trusteer Pinpoint Detect: