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Thursday, 26 June 2008 12:10

TrustDefender and BCU credit union in 'œAustralian first' for banking transaction security

BCU, one of Australia’s biggest regional credit unions, has signed a deal with TrustDefender to offer its transaction security software free of charge to all BCU members in what is an “Australian first” for the banking industry.

When you bank or financially transact online, whether with a bank, credit union or other financial institution, you may well have all the anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewalls in the world, but your computer can still be compromised from unknown threats.

TrustDefender, an Australian security company, claims its “on demand endpoint security solutions” do something unique: being able to temporarily disable all known and unknown malware, spyware, adware, viruses, Rootkits, Trojans, keyloggers and other crimeware when conducting financial transactions of any nature with any financial institution.

In addition, TrustDefender says its GAP (Guaranteed Authentication Program) is able to guarantee the authenticity of a website, offering valuable real-time information about websites to protect against phishing attacks.

Therefore, even if a computer is infected or affected by crimware of any type, when you are logging into or transacting with the servers of any financial institution, your transaction is secure, something that no other security software can claim, according to TrustDefender.

In addition, TrustDefender says its software can both communicate the health status of the PC back to the consumer and to the financial institution. With its “Safe and Secure” mode, all crimeware is disabled so a safe transaction can still continue, and the financial institution can apply different risk policies, on the fly, to a customer transaction if desired.

TrustDefender says its software eliminates the end-user PC from being the weak link in the chain, as it can be today with the latest password stealing banking Trojans, and is thus a revolution in transactional security.

The first Australian financial institution to implement TrustDefender and offer it free to all its customers is the Bananacoast Credit Union (BCU) with the partnership unveiled today at a banking conference in Sydney. The initiative will start from July 1 for BCU customers.

It does make me wonder when other banks and financial institutions will follow, with TrustDefender reporting US banking interest in conducting trials in the immediate future with a view to also implementing the same security technology for US banks and its customers.

Ray Battle, CEO of BCU said: “What attracted us to TrustDefender was the fact that whilst it provides a new way of thinking about how to counter cyber crime, it has been tried and tested worldwide and has won many prestigious awards. TrustDefender effectively provides our customers with a third layer of security for internet banking, which will also give them increased peace of mind.”

“While we have many layers of security, the weak link in the chain is usually the home or business computer. Often people don’t even have the basics such as firewalls or anti virus software installed – or properly updated – on their computer. By offering TrustDefender to all our customers through our website – free of charge – we know that our customers will have the additional security of having their banking sessions quarantined while they transact,” he added.

How does TrustDefender describe the software's capabilities, and why else has BCU said its has chosen to implement TrustDefender now? Continued on page 2.

TrustDefender’s explanation in press release of its security process is as follows:

”TrustDefender performs a security health check on the consumer’s PC or mobile computing device during the click through period to the login page.

“This security health check can identify any unknown crimeware that may exist on the consumer’s machine which has not otherwise been identified by their firewall or antivirus software, and does this before the consumer logs into any online website and enters his / her password, security token keys and other ID protocol.

“TrustDefender also applies specific security policies and rules - set by the financial institution - prior to login, thereby ensuring that any online transactions the consumer conducts won’t fall prey to an online fraudster or identity thieves… and the consumer has peace of mind that their confidential information is secure before and during the period of their transaction.”

BCU’s CEO Roy Battle expects TrustDefender to be a lure to get customers to switch banking providers, saying: “We’ve always provided free internet banking, so this is just another reason for people to switch to BCU. By providing the TrustDefender security solution to our customers free of charge, we are not only leading the way as a credit union, we’re also offering our customers protection from online fraud and identify theft.”

Battle continued: “We feel sure that this will lead to an increase in the use of internet banking by our customers who will be able to enjoy the convenience of anywhere, anytime management of their finances, with the peace of mind that they are doing the most they can to protect their money and identity,” Mr Battle concluded.

The version of TrustDefender being offered free to BCU customers will protect those customers when transacting (doing their online banking) with the BCU credit union.

However a “Gold Edition” of TrustDefender will also be offered for sale to BCU customers via its website or TrustDefender’s website which will allow consumers to check the authenticity of websites they access or requiring the same level of protection for other online transactions, such as with other financial institutions, or making credit card payments over the Internet.

A 21-day trial of TrustDefender is available from its website to download for PCs running Windows 95 through to Windows XP and Vista, with a Mac version and versions for various smartphones under development.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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