How Financial Services Are Becoming More Secure

biometrics for financial services security

The financial services industry has adopted new technologies to protect sensitive customer information. (Photo credit to Google Images)

The following guest post on improving financial services security was submitted by Damien Troy.

As technology improves and continually evolves, security becomes increasingly important. While new technologies being used in businesses and services is generally a positive, it can also leave them vulnerable to the latest cybercrime, such as hacking and identity theft. For services dealing with sensitive personal information, this is particularly important. Financial services such as banks, advisors and short term loan companies, like, all have a responsibility to keep their customers information secure. Here’s how financial services are improving their security.

End-to-end Encryption

End-to-end encryption has been in place within financial services for some time now. Its purpose is to keep important personal information, such as credit card details, private. Whenever a user sends their information to a website, such as by entering their payment details online, they are vulnerable to cybercrime. Once the information has been sent out, the user has no control over it. Encryption scrambles the information, making it illegible should it be accessed by anyone other than the intended recipient. End-to-end encryption makes sure the data is only readable by the sender and the recipient.

Biometric Security

In the future, we could see biometric security being used widely throughout the financial service industry. Biometric security involves using an individual’s biological traits to identify them, for example fingerprint or iris recognition. This technology could be highly beneficial for the financial service industry because it is more secure than a password or PIN code and it could also potentially cut costs by reducing the need for two-step verification via SMS message.

Ransomware Protection

The threat from ransomware is continually increasing, as new schemes are online every day. These attacks are becoming far more sophisticated than a generic phishing email and have the potential to steal large amounts of customers’ personal data. Some examples of more sophisticated ransomware include programs which are able to offer online helpdesks to their victims to gather information. In order to protect themselves from this threat, financial service providers need to be able to identify threats and have a recovery plan in place. In addition, computers need to be kept updated with appropriate security software which is vital for reducing the risk of Trojans and ransomware. Some banks have even gone as far as offering their customers free security software, to help protect their information.

Moving Away From Passwords

Many financial service providers still rely upon generic passwords, such as mother’s maiden name, place of birth. All of this personal information is easily available on social media. Some banks are already moving away from this type of password and instead using one-time only passwords which are sent directly to the customer’s phone each time they want to access their bank or loan provider. The movement towards one-time passwords is a positive step to improving security, but it will take a long time to fully implement them across all the financial service sectors. Some clever marketing strategies will also be required to get customers on board with the process.

Author bio:

Damien Troy is an experienced business man with many years working within the financial sector of business. He has helped many struggling businesses overcome financial difficulty and create success where it looked least likely.

Infographics: The Impact of Biometrics in Banking

As global financial entities become more digitally-based, banks are piloting new technologies to improve customer and employee identity management in an effort to combat fraud, increase transaction security, and enhance customer convenience. One cutting edge technology increasingly used at many of the world’s top financial institutions is biometrics. In today’s post, we have identified the factors that drive demand for biometrics and the impact it’s generating, especially in the context of identity management in the banking sector. Continue reading →

August #biometricchat Summary – Using Biometrics to Protect Corporate Data with @BiokeyIntl

August's #biometricchat tweet chat on biometric technology focused on using biometrics to protect corporate data

August’s #biometricchat recap with @BiokeyIntl

This past Thursday marked August’s #biometricchat tweet chat where we discussed using biometrics to protect corporate data with our special guest Scott Mahnken from Bio-key International. Bio-key are experts in developing and deploying biometric single sign-on identification systems to help businesses protect their data and intellectual property.

There has been a lot of news coverage recently about corporation data breaches and hackers taking advantage of weak user passwords to steal data and compromise database security. With the increasing focus on adopting an alternative to passwords, PINs, key fobs, and other conventional methods of identification, more businesses are evaluating the power of biometric technology to protect data, using it as an exclusive single sign-on solution or part of a multi-factor authentication strategy.

We began our discussion with a look at why Scott felt that biometrics were a more viable alternative to PINs and passwords. He offered that many high profile corporate IT professionals are predicting that passwords will soon be replaced by more advanced single sign-on technology (like biometrics). Passwords and PINs can be easily shared, swapped, or stolen whereas biometrics are something you always carry with you and can’t be easily shared. Furthermore, resetting passwords can be a tremendous resource drain for IT staff with some predictions that password resets can cost a company anywhere from $15 – $20 per reset and consume up to 40% of a workday.

Millions of dollars per year are lost from corporate data breaches and in 2011, at least 558 data breach incidents cost U.S. businesses more than $6.5 billion. The chat discussion talked about the impact of these losses to businesses and why it’s important for them to address the topic of corporate data breaches proactively before hackers can infiltrate a database.

Scott from Bio-key then explained that the healthcare industry just may stand to lose the most from data breaches because of their mission critical work and the sensitivity and importance of protecting patient information. Scott tweeted:

“Managing patient care and the flow of medicines (for healthcare) requires extremely secure and accurate solutions.”

Not to mention the fact that hospitals can lose their meaningful use revenue if they fail to comply with patient data protection measures and biometrics can provide security and transaction tracking along with the compliance that medical facilities seek.

The remainder of the chat transcript can be viewed through the Storify summary which can be found here. Our thanks to Scott and Bio-key for being our guest on this month’s chat and for all that participated in the discussion! The next #biometricchat will be held September the 13th – stay tuned to our blog for more information and details!

August #biometricchat Features @BiokeyIntl to Discuss #Biometrics for SSO

Use biometric technology for single sing-on (SSO) to protect against data breaches and save money.

How can using biometrics for single sign-on (SSO) help to protect data and save money?

When: August 23, 2012 11:00 am EST, 8:00 am PST, 16:00 pm BST, 17:00 pm (CEST), 23:00 pm (SGT), 0:00 (JST)

Where: (hashtag #biometricchat)

What: Tweet chat on biometrics for single sign-on (SSO) with @BIOkeyIntl 

Topics: Biometrics as an alternative to passwords and PINs, the economic hardship of data breaches, the effectiveness of national data breach awareness campaigns, industries affected the most by weak SSO systems, non-traditional industries that can benefit from SSO, and more!

We are happy to announce that August’s #biometricchat tweet chat will focus on using biometrics for SSO featuring a guest from Bio-key International.

As more companies look at modern technology solutions to help increase database security and protect sensitive information from being hacked and compromised, many discover that using biometrics helps increase security and lower risk. The professionals at Bio-key will share some of their thoughts on using biometrics for SSO and what distinct advantages it offers over more traditional sign-on methods.

Here are some of the questions that will be asked during the chat:

  1. Why is biometric technology a more viable alternative to PINs and passwords for single sign-on authentication?
  2. What industries risk losing the most by not addressing the need to strengthen single sign-on identity management?
  3. What are some examples of non-traditional industries that can benefit from a biometric single sign-on solution?
  4. Besides helping to prevent data breaches, what other efficiencies/savings does biometrics for SSO bring?

2011 was recently named “The Year of the Breach” with some researchers reporting that there were at least 558 data breaches costing U.S. businesses more than $6.5 billion.  In a day and age where data security strategies receive a lot more scrutiny and attention, more businesses seek flexible, affordable, secure authentication technologies that can reduce the risks and prevent breaches.

This chat is an excellent education opportunity on the values of using biometrics for SSO as you will hear firsthand from one of the leading technology companies in the industry on the merits of biometric technology. Please tune in to this Thursday at 11am EST to hear from the folks at Bio-key about using biometrics for SSO.

Just in case you are interested in participating but are new to Tweet chats, please read this post which outlines the instructions and procedures. We hope that you will join us for the discussion, and please help us to spread the word among your colleagues and friends.

Do you have any questions about using biometrics for SSO that you would like to ask Bio-key? Just drop us an email at and we will try and include them in the chat.


M2SYS Partners with ABT Security Systems to Deliver Biometric Time and Attendance Systems and Identity Management Solutions

ABT Security offers retail point of sale and and enterprise resource planning (ERP) business information management systems

M2SYS Technology’s New Partner – ABT Security Systems

Yesterday, we announced a new partnership with Australian based ABT Security Systems designed to help businesses who struggle with antiquated workforce management systems and a lack of access control protocols by introducing biometric identity management tools that will help create efficiency and save money. The partnership will provide ABT Security with access to the following M2SYS enterprise solutions:

1. RightPunch™ – a PC-based biometric time clock that instantly interfaces with any third party workforce management and/or POS software helping to: eliminate buddy punching, increase productivity, reduce payroll inflation and error rates, and help ensure compliance with labor tracking laws.

2. Enterprise Biometrics Suite (single sign-on) – an identity management system that helps to reduce costs and protect data through indisputable client side authentication, file encryption, and password automation with strong authentication.

3. RightPatient™ – the healthcare industry’s only multi-modal biometric patient identification system to ensure identification accuracy, prevent medical identity theft, and eliminate duplicate medical records.

4. RightPOS™ – instantly interfacing with any third party POS software, this biometric identification solution for PCI compliance provides easy employee identification to replace sophisticated passwords, helps to reduce shrink and false returns, improves loss prevention strategies, and strengthens PCI and workforce management compliance.

We are proud to be partnering with the seasoned professionals at ABT Security and know that their years of experience with retail point of sale (POS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) business information management systems will help to open new doors for our biometric identification enterprise solutions. For more information on the partnership please read our news release or visit ABT Security Systems’ Web site at


Mystery Patients Continue to Point at Biometric Patient Identification Systems as Solution

Biometric Patient Identification Systen

Anyone with information about the patient or his family is asked to contact Grady Social Services, 404-616-5331.

Yet another case of a patient turning up at a hospital without any identification or means to prove their identity resulted in the medical facility turning to the public for help. The Atlantic Journal Constitution published a story yesterday, “Grady seeks family of gravely ill mystery patient” that detailed a badly battered, dazed and confused man picked up by the police and transported to Grady Memorial Hospital without any identification on him or means to identify himself other than giving his name. Subsequently, Grady published his photo asking the public for their help to identify the patient, hoping someone may recognize him.

The case illustrates yet another example of how biometric patient identification systems can help healthcare to establish a means of identifying these types of patients if they are registered in their system as an existing patient.

Healthcare biometrics is increasingly making a significant impact  for medical facilities that choose to adopt it, and can be applied in a number of capacities within a network:

1. Patient Identification to eliminate healthcare fraud, prevent duplicate medical records and raise patient safety levels

2. Single Sign On (SSO) for staff access to medical records that increases security and lowers the burden on hospital IT

3. To accurately track employee time and attendance eliminating buddy punching, raising accountability and strengthening workforce management audit trails

4. Access control devices to increase security into authorized areas and protect patients and medical personnel

Healthcare biometrics applications extend well beyond patient identification and can dramatically increase efficiencies and security within medical facilities to help save money, increase patient safety and protect against patient fraud and data breaches which are becoming a larger problem as healthcare begins to look at ways of tightening the belt in the midst of a move to mandated electronic medical record (EMR) systems.