Banks need to go back to IT basics on Net security



Nick Huber

High street banks need to get back to IT basics if they are to deliver secure online banking services, a leading consumer group...



Nick Huber

High street banks need to get back to IT basics if they are to deliver secure online banking services, a leading consumer group said this week.

The Consumer's Association has called for banks to pay more attention to basic software testing and observe data protection legislation, rather than set-up new bodies to tackle Internet security.

The association's call follows last week's high-profile security breach at Barclays' online banking service. Barclays was forced to temporarily shut-down its online service after a handful of customers found that they were able to view other customers' account details over the banking service Web site.

"There are some very good regulations and laws in place that apply to UK Internet banks," said Alan Stevens, head of digital services at the Consumer's Association. "It is not a case of putting new regulations in place. Companies have to make sure that their own back-office systems are secure and that they use normal rules of IT development."

Stevens' comments are a snub to Barclays' chief information officer David Weymouth who last week expressed qualified support for a new Internet banking security committee to boost consumer confidence in Internet security.

Barclays is still testing its upgraded online banking service and has not given a date for when it will be re-installed. The bank blamed the security glitch on a software code error in the upgraded site.

The Barclays scare was the latest in a series of problems. Last month thousands of PowerGen customers' credit card details appeared on the utility's Web site.

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