Local banks are investing in cybercrime defence as financial institutions globally face an increasing trend of cyber theft, an international survey has found.
According to a survey by security company Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, a third of global international financial organisations don't offer their customers a secure channel for transactions.
But in South Africa, the dominant banks have made strides to limit the impact of cybercrime, the survey said.
"As cybercrime is a world issue, banks in South Africa are among organisations that are investing heavily in cyber security - based on the need for it," Riaan Badenhorst, managing director at Kaspersky Lab Africa told Fin24.
"According to our survey globally 47% of businesses want banks to improve the security of online transactions, and we believe that the local financial sector is starting to take this matter seriously," Badenhorst said.
Badenhorst, though, warned that South African financial organisations had to implement preventative methods to limit cybercrime.
"We do notice that often cyber security is undertaken on a reactive basis. We would encourage this mindset to be reviewed, with the financial sector placing a stronger emphasis on being proactive around cyber security," said Badenhorst.
In SA, mobile banking security is on par with international best practice, said Badenhorst.
"I would say the apps are often quite well done from a security point of view. As we can see, for both the local and international market, financial organisations try to protect their users from cyber-fraud by introducing multifactor authentication and transaction approval services."
But he advised banks to ensure updated security to deal with the evolving threat landscape.
"We advise banks to have the apps created and updated with security in mind, as well as to educate their clients and provide them with tools that raise security levels of online transactions."
The Kaspersky survey further found that 48% of organisations globally accept that they are mitigating risk rather than removing it and 29% say it's cheaper to deal with online financial fraud than prevent it.
"The study shows that banks and payment organisations are finding it difficult to manage online financial fraud in today's connected omni-channel consumer landscape. Thirty-eight percent of the organisations we spoke to admit that it is increasingly difficult to tell whether a transaction is fraudulent or genuine, with a worrying one in three opting for a 'we'll deal with it as it happens' approach to fraud protection," said Ross Hogan, head of SafeMoney Business Development at Kaspersky Lab's Fraud Prevention unit.