The banking and financial services industries have always been one of the primary targets for high-profile attacks. The motivation is blatantly obvious – to cripple an institution’s website, steal critical customer data and, of course, for reap the financial benefits. Recent attacks, such as Yummba and Zeus, have only reinforced the notion that malware and DDoS developers have a keen interest in the industry – and this does not just include the large, global institutions, this includes smaller banks and credit unions, too.

The fallout from these attacks is significant, and clashes with the ultimate goal for any financial institution: To provide a convenient experience that instills trust and encourages long-term customer loyalty. According to Financial Publishing Services, data shows that banks are losing customers at an average of 12.5 percent each year – for reasons that include poor customer experiences and poor security. This is an alarming statistic, especially for credit unions that are working within small geographic locations and have more to lose.

Financial institutions have made strides in recent years to provide customers with personalized, easy-to-use sites that are optimized for all browsers and devices. Of course, that is a necessity when it comes to providing a better, positive customer experience, but it must not come at the expense of the security needs that the industry demands. There needs to be a balance between user-friendliness and security that can satisfy both the financial institution and the customer.

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