While 78% of banks surveyed state that they are concerned or very concerned with phishing attacks, the financial services industry is lagging in the application of even the most rudimentary forms of e-mail authentication. Fraudsters have grown increasingly precise, moving down the chain to target customers of smaller institutions, such as credit unions. Given the volume of attacks specifically impacting both customers and brands, financial institutions of all sizes must be more proactive in developing initiatives designed to mitigate the problem.
"Banks are not neglecting the e-mail channel, and expect customers to use it increasingly over the next few years," says Nick Holland, senior analyst with Aite Group and author of this report. "However, the fly in the ointment remains phishing as a means of undermining both e-mail and Web channels. Even for institutions that feel comfortable regarding their control of the e-mail channel, the uncontrollable nature of phishing looms over all such initiatives."