THE MAGAZINE

Presidio Combats Fraud with IronKey

By John Wagley

One of the main reasons Presidio Bank wanted to strengthen the security of its financial transactions was the large number of expensive fraud incidents occurring in the industry, according to Fred Bailard, Presidio executive vice president.

Bailard says he also wanted to beef up transaction security because Presidio mainly has business customers, who do not receive the same level of fraud protection under law as those with consumer accounts. Business account transactions also tend to have a higher dollar value than their consumer counterparts.

The answer was a secure, encrypted channel for carrying out transactions, he says. Bailard researched options for about 18 months before settling on the Trusted Access solution from IronKey, he says, partly because the vendor has a relatively large number of clients in the military and government and partly because it was user friendly. The client could download and set up the software it would need on its end in about seven minutes. The bank would provide individual clients with software by entering information, including an individual account number, into an IronKey online administrative console. Clients would then automatically receive an e-mail with set up instructions. And the program didn’t appear to be intrusive to clients; it did not make clients “go through too many hoops,” says Bailard.

Customers were originally sent a message describing the new solution and explaining how to download and implement it. Clients were also asked to contact their individual relationship service manager for assistance. In many cases, however, customers were able to set it up on their own.

Bailard also says that now that it has been implemented, performing updates is a simple, one-step process that can be conducted on the back end at the bank. The bank can make updates through the administrative console; those updates then apply to client solutions the next time they’re activated.

The solution creates a virtual private network using strong Advanced Encryption Standard encryption, which clients can use to access the bank through IronKey’s servers.

The bank also looked at providing clients with antimalware solutions, he says, but Presidio wouldn’t be able to be sure that businesses were keeping their software updated, since it did not work as easily as this solution.

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