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New Age of Bank Security

NCJ Number
Gazette Volume: 63 Issue: 2 Dated: 2001 Pages: 34-37
Gene McLean
Date Published
4 pages
This article reviews the primary security threats that face Canadian financial institutions today and identifies future problems and what is being done to counter them.
Advances in computer technology have led to new types of crime as well as high-tech refinements of traditional methods of fraud and counterfeiting. In addition, the traditional, low-tech bank robbery, although on the decline, remains a serious concern for bank security departments. Credit card crime is prevalent and costly. The banking industry is pursuing a number of initiatives to counter it, including better ways to determine "points of compromise" where credit-card information has been skimmed; education sessions and strategic operational projects with law enforcement agencies; and media interviews that ensure accuracy in the reporting of events to guide the public in prevention measures. Another threat is the "skimming" of debit cards in conjunction with the use of hidden cameras or "shoulder surfing" to observe the PIN as the client enters it. Among the countermeasures being used is the education of merchants and the public in prevention measures. Initiatives to counter bank robbery include staff training and the formation of a working group to review and analyze bank robberies from a national perspective and offer security recommendations. Other threats are counterfeit currency and checks, money laundering, the privacy of information, and deceptive telemarketing. Countermeasures in each of these areas are discussed, with attention to the importance of financial institutions working closely with law enforcement agencies.


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