Aussie bank targets fraud with free software

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is supplying new online banking customers with free PC security in a bid to mitigate online fraud.

The next 25,000 customers to sign up to NetBank will receive the Computer Associates (CA) Internet Security Suite 2008, which includes a firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, and parental controls.

The suite also includes tools for data migration, backups, and Web site inspection.

The bank’s head of online banking and sales, Drew Unsworth, said selecting a security platform is always a challenge, but it is really about educating the public on security.

“We also use CA on our computers so our staff were already familiar with it. We approached all the major vendors for the offer and we were very happy with CA,” Unsworth said.

CBA retail banking services group executive Ross McEwan said 20 percent of its 2 million active NetBank customers do not have any form of computer security.

“Anti-virus software on home personal computers is just one additional security barrier that can provide assurance for customers when banking online,” McEwan said.

“Netcode SMS and tokens, BPAY, improvements to our Hawk-I fraud detection system and delayed third-party payments and limit changes have improved security for our customers over the past twelve months.”

Users can download or order the US$62.30 software on CD after completing an online quiz. Those who miss out can purchase the application for half price.

The move is one of many partnerships between banks, ISPs, and security vendors. The National Australia Bank offers Spyware Doctor and ZoneAlarm Security Suite for a reduced price to customers, while Westpac points customers to a free Symantec security scan.

Optus has offered the F-Secure security suite, while AOL coaxed users with its own security platform.

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