Nationwide deploys system to prevent phishing scams

The Nationwide building society has deployed a system from MarkMonitor to automatically identify and shut down phishing scams.

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The Nationwide building society has deployed a system from MarkMonitor to automatically identify and shut down phishing scams.

Figures from the Anti-Phishing Working Group found that 90% of phishing attacks recorded in December 2006 were carried out against financial services companies. The group estimates that losses from phishing scams total more than £500m a year.

Nationwide said the MarkMonitor anti-phishing product had paid for itself within three months by preventing phishing and other online fraud attacks.

Security at Nationwide has come under the spotlight since the building society was fined nearly £1m by the Financial Services Authority, following the theft of a laptop containing customer information. The City watchdog said Nationwide had failed to put effective systems and controls in place to manage its information security risks.

The building society had been struggling to track phishing attacks manually before implementation of the new anti-phishing system. Peter Corrie, head of Nationwide’s strategic fraud initiative, said: “It became extremely difficult to shut down phishing sites quickly enough and cope with the number of incoming emails from customers reporting phishing attacks or suspicious-looking websites.

"With online fraud increasing exponentially each year, it is paramount for companies like ours to tackle the problem head-on in order to minimize revenue losses and protect our members.”

The MarkMonitor product had enabled the company to “quickly address daily online fraud activities so we can refocus our energies on emerging, future threats", Corrie added.

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