Security Concerns Over Online Financial Services Grow

Overall, 62 percent of users said they fear financial fraud on the Internet, and the data uncovered numerous examples of consumer uneasiness.

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Consumer confidence in the security of online financial transactions has dropped, according to the findings of a new survey from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International. The study revealed that 49 percent of participants worldwide feel vulnerable while shopping online or making online transactions,

In addition, 42 percent of survey respondents said they would use online payment systems more often if they felt they were protected from cyber-fraud.

For example, 40 percent of those who make payments online feel that the official mobile applications offered by financial companies require more security protection.

"The addition of mobile payments will help further drive payments online. Companies are releasing mobile apps, making it easier than ever for consumers to purchase goods," Roel Schouwenberg, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, told eWEEK. "Currently, we're in a phase where user-convenience is often the defining factor in deciding to use these payment systems."

Consumers worried about mobile security concerns and looking to ensure their protection should treat their phones like their desktops, Schouwenberg said. This includes making sure to install security updates, using security software and generally being vigilant, as well as using two-factor authentication when available, he added.

Thirty-seven percent of users report terminating a financial operation in the middle of the process because they were unsure about the security of the transaction.

Overall, 62 percent of users said they fear financial fraud on the Internet, and the data uncovered numerous examples of consumer uneasiness.

While 20 percent of users place full responsibility for the security of financial transactions on the banks and 15 percent believe they themselves are solely responsible, the majority (60 percent) of those surveyed think that both users and banks should be responsible for the protection of financial information.

This suggests that users would be eager to accept new tools from their financial organizations to help manage their shared responsibility of preventing online fraud, the report noted.

The survey also revealed the level of protection against cyber-fraud is an important factor for consumers when choosing an e-store or a financial service operator, with 60 percent of respondents saying they would prefer companies that offer additional security measures to protect financial data.

A full three-quarters of those surveyed expect banks, online payment systems and online stores to protect their computers and mobile devices from financial fraud.

"There's always been a set of people who have insisted on paying with cash. That won't change. Some people will be deterred by the number and size of breaches we're currently seeing, and the data from our consumer security risks survey shows 62 percent of participants fear financial fraud on the Internet," Schouwenberg said. "But, ultimately, we'll see an ever-growing increase in the usage of online payment systems if only just for the convenience."

A Kaspersky study released in April found that last year the number of cyber-attacks involving financial malware increased to 28.4 million, up 27.6 percent from the 2012 level.

Banking Trojans, which accounted for two-thirds of financial malware, are a popular method due to the fact that cyber-criminals can make money quickly.