security, Highly risky: Mobility without security, Technology Times

Highly risky: Mobility without security

Highly risky: Mobility without security

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There is no doubt that the advent of information and communication technology (ICT) has dramatically transformed the way things are done.

It has evolved the ability to carry out several activities while on the move especially with connected mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. On the other hand, ICTs have increased the ability of fraudsters to defraud unsuspecting victims, and by their act exposing unsuspecting technology users to untold hardship.

security, Highly risky: Mobility without security, Technology Times
A mobile phone user chatting on his smartphone

For instance, financial institutions, especially deposit money banks, now offer products and services that let their customers to carry out transactions using the Internet and mobile phones. Why these are commendable and ultimately the way to go by banks, some of the transactions that can be conducted via these platforms do not embed the appropriate security controls in them.[quote font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”right” bgcolor=”#” color=”#” bcolor=”#” arrow=”yes”]The one that readily comes to mind is the mobile money and airtime transfer services that GT Bank renders to its customers. The bank’s customers can send money, purchase airtime for their phones and send airtime to others using a short code. But a closer examination of this service reveals that a user can purchase airtime for himself and others by dialling the code, amount and the receiving phone number without the need for any personal security number. [/quote]

The one that readily comes to mind is the mobile money and airtime transfer services that GT Bank renders to its customers. The bank’s customers can send money, purchase airtime for their phones and send airtime to others using a short code. But a closer examination of this service reveals that a user can purchase airtime for himself and others by dialling the code, amount and the receiving phone number without the need for any personal security number. Likewise, to make money transfer, a user only need to dial the code, the receiving account number and just the last four digits of the account holder’s Naira MasterCard.

The implication of the security lapse is that users are exposed to the risk of loss of hard-earned money. For instance, anybody can pick up the mobile device of an account holder and make fund and airtime transfer without the knowledge or against the wish of the account holder. When such eventualities arise, customers are always at the receiving end. The bank may not be able to revert the unauthorised transaction and recover the lost fund on the pretext of complying with regulations guiding its operations. Even if it can, it may not be immediate and thereby imposing untold hardship on affected account holders.

Financial institutions must of a necessity embed the appropriate security in their mobile banking platforms to avert possible eventualities. Security of users must be paramount when designing any mobile banking platform. Mobile banking users must be careful to prevent unauthorised access to their mobile devices.

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Kayode Oladeinde Technology Journalist at Technology Times. Mobile: +234 (0) 7031526929