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ATM security is vital for banks and credit unions

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Protecting your fleet of ATMs against physical and cyber attacks

With data breaches and other cyber crime attacks becoming commonplace, many of us are more concerned about data privacy and security than ever before. Financial institutions must be especially vigilant to protect their customers' data (and bank balances) from fraud and theft. The first line of defense needs to be a fleet of ATMs with state-of-the-art security.

ATMs are attractive targets for criminals, who are constantly evolving and adapting to the latest and greatest technologies. The tricks and tactics they use to breach your ATM security vary, but in general, ATM crime falls into three categories:

  • Tampering with the ATM itself
  • Network attacks
  • Operating system or application attacks

Incidents occurring at the machine itself account for 90 percent of ATM crime, and are by far the biggest threats to ATM security. They usually come in the form of skimming, which is a device easily added to card readers that can collect a customer's card information when he or she pops it into the ATM. The fix is to make sure your ATMs have anti-skimming technologies like:

Jamming. This ability can detect a skimming device and generate an electromagnetic field to prevent the device from reading the customer's card information.

Metal detection. Many ATMs come with built-in metal detector monitors that can detect the presence of a skimming device, allowing the financial institution to put that ATM out of service until the skimmer is removed.

Unique shutter designs. These prevent the card reader and shutter from being forced open, and reject any inserted item that doesn't meet standard bank card width or magnetic features.

Sensors and bezel design. Some ATMs come with a card reader and fascia that prevents the attachment of skimming devices or applying a false front.

It's too late to put the cyber data genie back into the bottle, but ATMs with state-of-the-art security features will keep your customers' data safe.

May 24, 2019