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Banks face a difficult challenge in the area of security management.

With a
growing population of internal and external users accessing an increasing number
of applications, the need has grown exponentially for banks to develop a new
generation of security tools that can help them better comply with regulations,
control access to confidential data and limit identity theft. At the same time,
banks are challenged to institute security measures that satisfy users who are
demanding both stronger security and ease of use and control -- often competing
priorities.

In addition, security management is ever changing. The desire for greater


functionality must constantly be supplemented with stronger security measures to
offset the risks of each new capability. Moreover, these security measures must
be highly nimble; they must be quickly deployed and evolve over time to
anticipate and adapt to new threats and emerging risks, as well as satisfy a new
generation of customers who want more-personal and customized experiences
that match their lifestyles.

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Lastly, the single largest security management challenge is the one most difficult
to control. According to the 2007 Global Security Survey by Deloitte Touche
Tohmatsu, "The greatest root cause of external breaches continues to be the
human factor." In other words, banks need to continuously educate and engage
customers about their online security. However, customer education is difficult at
best because the group most likely to be duped is also the group most likely to
not actively seek education or to ignore education initiatives altogether.

What does all of this mean? It means that truly effective security management
will require the layering of a number of solutions that focus on people, process,
technology and risk. Most important, the management of each layer will need to
be based on its context among the diverse capabilities and limitations of the
others. When all the layers are combined, it creates a powerful tool that can offer
banks a much more successful way to manage their security challenges than any
single stand-alone solution.

Why Security Management?

Over the past decade, as new online banking products and communication points
were introduced, so were opportunities for fraudulent activity (see timeline
below). It is reasonable to assume that new product introductions and the related
security challenges will progress hand in hand. As functionality continues to grow,
so will criminal initiatives to exploit it (see "Lesson Learned No. 1").

Lesson Learned No. 1: Evolving Cybercrime

Over the past five years, banks have witnessed a major shift in
fraudulent activity. Originally hackers would create worms and/or
viruses, such as I Love You, Mamba and a host of others, with the
intention of crashing systems and wreaking general havoc. Most of
these programs were created as pranks with the purpose of proving to
the world how smart the hackers were. Today the focus has shifted.
Hackers are now aiming at specific targets with the intention of
defeating their security, retrieving customer information and selling it
online for a profit. In short, cybercrime has moved from destructive
pranks to criminal intent. As a result, security managers have literally
become the bank's security guards -- protecting customer identities and
accounts in the same way that guards at a brick-and-mortar branch do.
This trend has played a key role in security enhancement strategy at
most banks.

Large banks are a natural target due to their size and their maintenance of
sensitive consumer information and assets. Banks are frequently the target of
phishing and spoofing attacks and continue to witness new attacks, such as DNS
poisoning (in which a maliciously created or unintended situation provides data to
a domain name server that did not originate from authoritative DNS sources) and
Man-in-the-Middle (in which the attacker makes independent connections with
the victims and relays messages between them, making them believe they are
talking directly to each other over a private connection when in actuality the
conversation is controlled by the attacker), developed and shared through black
market forums, almost weekly. Over the next year malware (software designed
to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent)
is likely to become an even greater threat, and banks are already strengthening
existing measures and building new measures to combat it.

Banks can ill afford any negative publicity about the security of their financial
data. Customer confidence is paramount as persistent security concerns can
quickly erode confidence in product channels, decrease profits and lead to
defections. We are continuously challenged to find better ways to secure our
systems and support our customers' assurance that their information is safe from
predators. Developing and maintaining a top-notch authentication and security
strategy is the key.

In essence, a security strategy is a road map for mitigating risks while complying
with legal, statutory, contractual and internally developed requirements. Some of
the basic components include defining control objectives, identifying and
assessing approaches to meet those objectives, selecting controls, establishing
metrics and benchmarks, testing and implementation, and performing ongoing
maintenance. The ultimate goal is to increase customer confidence across online
channels and reduce losses due to fraud and identity theft across the enterprise.

Like many large banks, Bank of America has developed a logical delivery road
map to drive the evolution of its authentication and security programs. Our
strategy involves easy-to-use layers of overlapping security systems across our
online space, as well as programs for educating customers to improve prevention,
detection and resolution. It also includes strong risk management/compliance
features surrounding the overall design to ensure that the right measures are
placed in the right areas and are updated as necessary. Such a road map includes
several components:

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Use a Multilayered Approach

To effectively manage security, banks need to develop an easy-to-use,


multilayered system that can be leveraged across the enterprise. This can be
accomplished by creating a weave of mandatory and optional channel
authentication to successfully identify customers in each system, along with
covert risk analysis to help determine the optimal deployment of authentication
for those systems.

1. Channel authentication

Channel authentication involves identifying and controlling access within a system


by associating rights and restrictions for each user. Many banks use identity
management software to automate this administrative task and enable users to
reset their own passwords to improve cost savings (since many help desk calls
are password-related). Further, passwords can be synchronized for a single sign-
on that can be used to access a wide range of systems.

Some authentications should be mandatory, while others can be optional. At Bank


of America, we use a mandatory authentication technology called SiteKey.
SiteKey employs a two-step process that clearly identifies both the customer and
the bank when online applications are accessed. First, the bank uniquely identifies
the customer's device or, if the customer is using an unrecognized device,
prompts the customer to go through additional security steps (such as security
questions). Once the bank has established the customer's identity, it presents an
image and phrase (previously selected by the customer) to identify the bank to
the customer (see "Lesson Learned No. 2").

Lesson Learned No. 2: Improving Identity Management

One lesson learned from using a tool like SiteKey is that it drives
customers to be more-active participants in identifying fraud. In many
cases, when customers do not recognize their SiteKey image, they
contact us to report it. We are then able to take measures to combat the
potential hazard and warn other customers. Active customer
involvement helps us better identify and react to fraudulent activity.

Bank of America offers customers a second layer of authentication -- usually


optional and associated with additional activities. First is ,a
href="http://www.bankofamerica.com/privacy/index.cfm?
template=learn_about_safepass" target="_blank">SafePass, which, during the
transaction of sensitive activities, triggers a six-digit, one-time-use code that is
sent to customers as a text message. Customers must then use that code to
complete their activity. The bank also offers customers both automatic and
account security alerts via e-mail and/or text message. Automatic alerts notify
customers of account changes that potentially indicate fraud. Account alerts
notify customers about specific balance, payment and transaction activity that
may be suspicious.

2. Covert risk-based authentication

Risk-based authentication means tailoring authentication to the risk analysis of a


customer activity. In short, we match the level of authentication to the riskiness
of the device being used, the transaction being made and the behavior of the
customer. Once the level of risk is established, we then decide which
authentication method is most appropriate and how it should be deployed. At the
same time, we strive to strike a balance between the selected authentication and
a positive online customer experience.

We also rely on an array of other effective tools behind the scenes that are
designed to detect and pinpoint fraudulent activity at the device, transaction and
customer behavior levels. This toolbox includes capabilities that are designed to
provide a higher level of service in protecting our customers and increasing the
security of their information and accounts.

Integrate Cross-Channel

To increase the benefits of the multilayered security approach, the logical next
step would be to extend and integrate it cross-channel. Banks need to align their
efforts at multiple levels to deliver a standardized authentication and
authorization experience. Strong security demands technology that can easily be
integrated. This is no easy task when many organizations use a wide range of
hardware and software for different business requirements.

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• Governance, Risk, and Compliance Services from SAP: Addressing Risk and Achieving
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• Strategy Guide to Business Risk Mitigation for Financial Services

• Strategy Guide to Business Risk Mitigation

Integration should be a critical consideration when selecting security systems. At


Bank of America, we design our systems to come together into one integrated
environment to create a common operating picture for easier and faster access to
information when and where it is needed. We strive to select and deploy the right
systems that not only get the job done, but also work together seamlessly.
Advantages include reduced costs, improved business processes and a scalable,
integrated enterprise architecture that grows with our organization.

Educate and Engage Customers

On the operations side, there are great


benefits from a fully integrated security
system. A single, system-wide control
interface for multiple systems means
fewer maintenance headaches when
upgrades or patches are required.
Perhaps more important, in the event of
a security breach it's easier to alter the
appropriate systems and devices
automatically to prevent further fraud.

As noted earlier, perhaps the best way


banks can protect their customers is to
better educate them about security.
Most of the actions necessary to protect
customers from fraudsters must be
initiated by the customers themselves.
Banks can help ease this process by
continuously educating customers on
potential hazards, by providing
increased authentication options,
personalization and customization of the
security experience, and alerts, e-mails
and/or tips for better prevention (see list
at right).

Accordingly, we partner closely with our customers to provide the education they
require to avoid fraud. This includes proactively informing customers how to
circumvent fraudulent activity and adhere to the latest safety tips and guidelines
outlined by such consumer protection groups as the Federal Trade Commission
and the Better Business Bureau, among others.

There are many reasons why Bank of America invests heavily in this area. First,
as a service company, we feel it's our duty to serve our customers to the fullest
extent possible, including fraud education. Second, educated customers are
better able to serve as our eyes and ears in the marketplace -- helping us identify
phishing and spoofing attacks and having them quickly shut down. Third, we
believe that if we go the extra mile to protect our customers, as well as offer a
zero-liability guarantee for unauthorized transactions, we can generate a greater
level of trust and confidence in our systems and build a more loyal customer
base. Finally, with every security effort, we help reduce our financial liability costs
all around (see "Lesson Learned No. 3").

Lesson Learned No. 3: Speeding Response Time

One of the biggest challenges banks face is the ability to react as


quickly as fraudsters, whose tactics change and evolve almost daily.
One way is to focus on the many "threat vectors" (i.e., potential paths
of attack) in the marketplace and proactively ramp up efforts to react to
them. Fast response is paramount to thwarting fraudsters and is one of
the key reasons that Bank of America partners with customers. The
earlier we receive warning of fraudulent activity, the faster we can
respond to shut it down.

Maintain Strong Risk Management and Compliance

A sound security strategy has several lines of defense -- from the individuals in
each line of business to the executives in charge of the enterprise. All must be
involved in the risk management process. All must evaluate the associated risks
in doing business. Their continuing efforts help ensure compliance.

At Bank of America, our teams review information security for potential risk
during the product life cycle and stay current with the latest developments so
they can adjust security measures as necessary. At the same time, they monitor
ongoing activity to help ensure that both process and policies are being correctly
followed.

Strong policies are the backbone of security strategy. They guide the decisions
made by users, managers and administrators and remind those individuals of
their security responsibilities. Policies also specify the mechanisms through which
responsibilities can be met, and provide guidance for successfully acquiring,
configuring and auditing security systems. These should be developed in
accordance with the size and complexity of the institution and be sufficiently
flexible to allow for timely updates to keep pace with changes in technology as
well as fraudulent activity.

Create a Win-Win Scenario

There are two certainties that banks and their customers must face:
New/improved financial products will continue to be introduced to the
marketplace; and those products will continue to be attacked by fraudsters
attempting to expose customer information. This danger is real, and a solid
authentication and security strategy is critical to keeping customer information
safe. Moreover, both banks and their customers win from this effort. Such
security measures can help increase customer confidence in the bank's online
products and reduce the cost of fraud and identity theft across the enterprise.

How have we done so far? Bank of America has continually received a top ranking
for online security from Bank Monitor and ranked No. 1 in Javelin's Online Identity
Safety Scorecard and Online Card Safety Scorecard. We intend to continue down
this path and will invest the necessary time and resources to maintain this
leadership. We feel that our recognition as an industry leader in online security
and the confidence we instill in our customers are key contributors to maintaining
our 25 million online banking customers.

Customers want a high level of assurance that their online transactions are safe,
and strong security measures can go a long way in giving them peace of mind.
Increasing customer confidence can help increase online usage, which in turn can
lead to more opportunities, better growth and competitive advantage. With more-
effective security management, we can help both our customers and ourselves
realize the full power of the Internet.
James Ashfield is the SVP for authentication and security management for global
consumer and small-business banking e-commerce/ATM at Bank of America.
Ashfield develops and manages the authentication and security strategies and
product development for online and mobile banking.

David Shroyer is an SVP and product manager for online security and enrollment
for Bank of America's e-commerce division, supporting 25 million online banking
customers. His team's responsibilities include product management for online
banking authentication, authorization, privacy and security customer education,
identity management, and enrollment. Shroyer also manages the e-mail security
strategy for e-commerce and acts as an expert on online threats and fraud at the
enterprise level.