Akamai warns of mobile banking security rift

Akamai warns of mobile banking security rift

Summary: IT managers are being expected to provide secure mobile banking products with budgets that are too limited, IDC research conducted on behalf of Akamai has found

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The demands of mobile banking are causing rifts between IT managers and banking executives, according to web technology company Akamai.

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IT managers are being expected to provide secure mobile banking products with budgets that are too limited, Akamai has reported.

IT managers for banks are being put under increasing pressure to deliver secure mobile banking products while having to deal with severe budgetary constraints, according to research performed on behalf of Akamai by analyst company IDC.

"IT managers want to invest in security, but they are constrained by a lack of budget," said Akamai chief strategist for financial services Rich Bolstridge in a statement on Thursday. "Management teams feel they are faced with a brick wall in the form of IT colleagues who are seemingly reluctant to support the push for new digital channels. This gap only serves to magnify the already daunting risk posed by increasing security threats and must be overcome."

The IT department needs to be involved in the design and development of new products from inception, particularly in mobile and social networking, so that security strategies and business goals can be aligned, said Akamai.

Banks are launching mobile services without a clearly defined IT strategy, IDC analyst Alex Kwiatkowski added.

Do more with less

IT managers in banking are being expected to do more with less, and to provide necessary security for projects with mobile and social-networking elements, analysts from Freeform Dynamics told ZDNet UK on Thursday.

"There's a gap in funding security," said Freeform Dynamics analyst Andy Buss. "IT departments can be expected to provide the necessary security [for new products] out of the IT budget, when really, security costs should come out of the business budget."

Mobile malware has not had a great effect so far, but will become increasingly attractive to criminals as possible gains increase, Freeform Dynamics analyst Martha Bennett told ZDNet UK on Thursday.

"What has protected customers so far is that it hasn't been worth it for criminals [to attack mobile devices]," said Bennett. "What's protected banks is device proliferation."

Mobile devices use a number of different operating systems, including Android and Apple iOS. This mobile ecosystem has made it economically unviable for criminals to attack devices so far, especially as mobile banking has not been common, said Bennett. A number of banks in the UK have mobile banking products, including Barclays and HSBC.


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Topic: Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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