Gone are the days when thieves stood outside the local bank on payday, waiting to prey on some unsuspecting soul who had just cashed a weekly check.
As computers have become smaller and faster, and the amount of information transmitted electronically has increased, so have the ways banking customers can be robbed of their life savings. But with the help of a New Jersey company, clients can feel at ease knowing they have protected themselves from online-banking fraud.
Comodo, a security software and services firm based in Jersey City, offers antivirus and firewall protection – at no cost to the customer. The Comodo Internet Security protection package is provided gratis as a way of “building trust online,” says Katharine Hadow, the company’s media-relations representative.
“More than 18 million people around the world have installed our award-winning software on their PCs,” she says. “Only when people can use the Internet without fear of infection (or theft) will they be able to take advantage of the wealth of resources there.”
Using malicious software, dubbed "malware," hackers are able to gain access to personal computers and record the keystrokes of hundreds or thousands of people. Once the hackers have collected personal information, such as bank-account numbers and passwords, stealing money becomes a simple process. Small businesses and school districts have become easy targets for online theft.
"Prevention as the first line of defense” is the best way to keep cyber criminals at bay, says Comodo CEO Melih Abdulhayoglu. “Unfortunately, it’s difficult to stop a determined thief. But prevention-based software can often mitigate risk, making the Internet safer for us all.”
Through Comodo’s prevention system, malicious software, such as the keystroke program, is detected and quarantined. The program name is then checked against a list of allowable software. If the name isn't on the list, the user is then asked to verify whether to install the program.
The result, says Hadow, is that no software can be installed or run on a user’s computer without prior approval.
Comodo also provides Two-Factor Authentication for banking institutions. According to federal law, banks are required to get two proofs of identity from their online-banking customers. Along with a password, says Hadow, banks must request something the customer is, such as a fingerprint; something the customer has, such as a Smart Card (popular in Canada) or a USB key; or something the customer knows, such as mother’s maiden name.
Asking for an additional piece of personal information provides another layer of protection for both online depositors and their banking institutions.
Comodo’s Two-Factor Solution falls in the line of “something the customer has.”
“Our financial-institution customers buy Comodo digital certificates that can be remotely installed on their customers’ PCs or even portable devices,” Hadow says.
“When the customer connects to the bank online, the bank checks both for the password and for the digital certificate. In that sense, we offer the digital certificates and the tools to manage them to the banks. The banks provide them to their customers.”
Comodo’s Two-Factor Solution is one of the securest solutions in the industry because the digital certificates cannot be forged, Hadow says.
Because criminals have become more sophisticated, users must be more diligent in protecting their resources.
“If you know what you’re doing, and you can identify a soft target, you can rob these accounts from anywhere in the world,” she says.
For additional information about firewall or antivirus software, visit the company’s Web site at www.comodo.com
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