Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Q How Secure Is Your Bank? an Interview with Doug Johnson, ABA's Head of Risk Management

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Q How Secure Is Your Bank? an Interview with Doug Johnson, ABA's Head of Risk Management

Article excerpt

ABABJ: What is your responsibility at ABA in terms of security issues?

Doug Johnson: I'm paid to worry--about any threats and risks that potentially impact banks and their customers. Everything from bank robberies to cyber crime to managing risk on an enterprise-wide basis.

ABABJ: What about this area may a CEO not know?

DJ: Currently there are some serious cyber risks to small-business and municipal customers. Even though check fraud generates a bigger loss figure for a bank, nothing will cause greater reputational risk than if a customer's information is compromised. Especially if it's a business or municipal customer since that customer is potentially liable for a loss that could bankrupt the business or put a school district in jeopardy. Even though the bank doesn't take the loss, cyber crime can quickly destroy the case for doing online banking with these customers.

ABABJ: How do these cyber crimes work?

DJ: One particularly nasty area that I'm following closely is corporate account takeovers--the infecting of the PCs of corporate and municipal customers like school districts to facilitate fraudulent wire transfers to overseas locations. Zeus Botnet or Zbot is one that sends emails with links that the recipient is highly likely to click on--like a tax court summons or subpoena. (See graphic below.) It's controlled by many independent users because there's a Zeus toolkit that teaches others how to target and infect a computer, create new payees, and transfer large sums of money overseas. …

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