One fraud attempt every week | Pentest7

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German consumers are constantly being targeted by cyber fraudsters. The crooks use increasingly sophisticated methods.

Those who surf the Internet live dangerously, because one fraud attempt per week is normal for almost half of German consumers: This is one of the results of a recent study by Akamai Technologies. The study examines the extent of cyber fraud in Germany and the usage habits of bank customers.

Overall, the pandemic is providing a strong growth spurt in online banking. Its use has increased by 27 percent since March 2020. Almost two thirds (64 percent) of adults in Germany use online banking services at least once a week. The most active are the age groups from 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 years. In contrast, 16 percent of those over 55 state that they do not do any online banking at all.

Almost half of the respondents (47 percent) register attempts at fraud via email or SMS at least once a week. Such attempts are often successful: with 17 percent of the participants, almost one in five has already been the victim of a successful cyber attack or fraud in the past. At 45 percent, the probability is highest among 25 to 44 year olds.

The majority of Germans are quite familiar with the principles of IT security. More than half of the respondents (53 percent) stated that they use different passwords for different online services. 48 percent use the PIN request for authentication, while 29 percent use multifactor authentication via an app on a smartphone. A quarter use a bank login device, a TAN generator or a mobile TAN. Consumers use new authentication technologies such as fingerprint recognition less frequently: only 19 percent have their fingerprint registered, nine percent use their face as an entrance ticket and just two percent rely on voice recognition. The new technologies are most often used by those under 34 years of age.

At 71 percent, the vast majority trust the security measures of their financial institutions. However, should incidents occur, most customers (76%) expect their bank to pay for the losses. Of these, more than half (58%) expect the bank to assume the full cost and one in five would also expect additional financial compensation for the inconvenience, while 18% would be satisfied with a fixed amount reimbursed.

For most people, extensive security against attacks is as natural as compensation in the worst-case scenario. If it does not happen, there are consequences: 42 percent of those surveyed would change their financial service provider if they did not receive compensation after a successful cyber attack.

What else would induce people to switch banks?

  • For 49 percent of those surveyed, the increase in account fees would be a reason for the switch.
  • As more and more consumers are doing online banking, support in using online services is important. 37 percent said that difficulties using a bank’s online services would lead them to switch providers.
  • Customer service is more important than ever. 42 percent of respondents said they would switch banks if they were unsatisfied with their bank’s customer service.

Gerhard Giese, Akamai’s Industry Strategist, comments: “The survey confirms that there is a serious problem with fraud and cybercrime in the banking and financial services industries. On the user side, there are still too many people who are not sufficiently careful with their passwords. A total of 47 percent of all respondents use the same password for more than one important account with personal information – good news for hackers, but a significant cause for concern for online banking providers. Additionally, while 97 percent of respondents use some type of security measure to protect their online banking, not all measures are equally effective. Only 29 percent use a special app for multi-factor authentication – although this is one of the most efficient ways to prevent threats today.

Rising cybercrime means higher costs for banks. Only a close cooperation between banks, government and industry can create the conditions for the implementation of effective strategies, the education of the public about important preventive measures and the integration of zero trust security models in the IT stack. Maximum protection is maximum customer loyalty. “

According to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet Security Report on the financial services sector, there were 193 billion credential stuffing attacks registered in the report worldwide in 2020. Of these, 3.4 billion related specifically to financial services companies – an increase of more than 45 percent compared to the previous year.

Akamai also observed nearly 6.3 billion web application attacks in 2020, of which more than 736 million were targeting financial services – a 62 percent increase from 2019. Last but not least, the company saw an increase in DDoS over the past three years (2018-2020) -Attacks against the financial services sector by as much as 93 percent. This indicates that the criminals are primarily aiming to disrupt the system – and thus to disrupt services and applications that are essential for day-to-day business.

To the methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample comprised 2,218 adults, 1,915 of whom use online banking. The survey was conducted online between October 25 and 26, 2021. The figures are representative for all adults in Germany (aged 18 and over).

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