Barclays endorses F-Secure protection

Barclays Bank has chosen to become a virtual shop front for F-Secure's anti-malware product, as its customers face growing dangers online

Banking giant Barclays has chosen to endorse security company F-Secure's anti-malware product, Barclays announced on Monday.

F-Secure’s Internet Security, which includes protection against viruses, spyware and rootkits, will be offered to Barclays customers. Barclays previously endorsed Symantec anti-malware products.

The deal gives F-Secure access to Barclays' five million online banking customers, and comes after a year in which phishing attacks and identity fraud have become serious problems.

"Barclays has customised its Web site to support F-Secure antivirus product. Essentially we've built the back-end — customers can order our product from Barclays, but they are buying from our e-store. Barclays are the shop window, and we're the till, if you like," said Brian Gregory, Internet security business manager at F-Secure UK, told ZDNet UK.

F-Secure emphasised that Barclays recommendation of its Internet Security product was "part of a wider drive to protect customers when using the Internet."

"There are people who install key-logging programs. Once hackers have that access to a bank account, a two-fold approach is needed. The bank itself needs to have a secure connection, and the client an uncompromised machine," said Gregory. "Barclays chose to recommend us because of ease of use, we deal with rootkits, we provide a multi-scan engine, and a very fast response to new threats."

F-Secure negotiated a licensing agreement with Barclays, under which the bank will to offer a 30-day free trial of Internet Security.

"Barclays are licensing a 30-day trial of our product to customers. This was included as part of the package we negotiated with Barclays," said Gregory.

David Mitchell, senior operations manager at Barclays Bank, said in a statement that "when it comes to online banking, this means not just ensuring that our own processes are completely secure, but also that the customer’s own machine PC is protected, so that the whole transaction is totally safe."