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Enrich your vocab for Bank exam: ‘Digital banking security: The infinite loop’

Dec 27, 2016 16:45 IST

    Developing your vocabulary is very important these days to clear any competitive Examination and banking exams are no exception in that category. In order to help you build your vocabulary, we are bringing to you a passage from ‘ET CIO.com, An initiative of  ‘The Economic Times’ (dated November 21st, 2016).The difficult words from it, are highlighted so that you can identify and familiarize with their application in a sentence. These words have been explained at the end of the passage with synonyms and antonyms and their usage as well.

    Article: Digital banking security: The infinite loop

    These days, people visit a bank’s branch a lot less often than they used to. Advancements in technology have now made it possible to extend a bank’s operations beyond the branch and its working hours. Furthermore, the growing numbers of mobile internet users has resulted in more people adopting digital banking due to the convenience, user friendliness, and cost effectiveness it offers. However, the increasing transactional volumes also emphasise on the need for constant evolution of security measures to prevent security breaches and fraud, feels S. Sundararajan.

    Understanding the nature of threats

    Most banks today have robust security measures in place. However, a lot of it still boils down to customers adopting the best practices to avoid misuse or fraud. The digital space is teeming with threats like viruses, trojans, phishing attacks, worms, etc., and it’s important to understand how each of them work. Every attack focuses on a specific set of information to corrupt or compromise a user’s privacy.

    Each threat works in a unique way – while some try to infiltrate customers’ bank accounts, others may try to redirect them to a fake website to steal their login credentials (phishing). Some could initiate a fund transfer without customer’s knowledge, while others could try to gain control over customer’s computer to steal sensitive data. No matter what method these attacks follow, their sole objective is to steal money and information.

    To avoid becoming a victim of these cyber threats, sensitive personal information must be well protected. Customers must remember that banks will never use e-mail or phone calls as a channel of communication to request for sensitive information. If one receives such e-mails allegedly from the bank, it must be reported immediately without reacting to the contents of that e-mail.

    To prevent oneself from phishing attacks, one must get accustomed with bank's security measures. If there has been a change in security measures or website design, banks will usually send out notices to their customers to inform them of the change in and such changes will never be done overnight. If one finds that the website’s authentication process looks different from what it used to be, they should check the website for other details by which they can verify its authenticity. A customer should also, if possible, refrain from accessing their banking information on a public or shared computer because there are several spyware in the market designed to steal sensitive information by recording key strokes. Even while accessing the banking website on one’s own computer, one must always log off and clear the cache on the browser regularly to remove any transactional records.

    Current Security Measures

    To protect customers’ accounts, most banks today have taken measures to ensure that the identity of the account holder is properly authenticated before granting access to their bank accounts online. One of the measures includes the use of a complex password (a combination of upper case, lower case, numbers, and special characters), and a second authentication process where a one-time PIN (OTP) is sent via SMS to the registered mobile device. So the password becomes the information that an account holder knows, and the PIN is the information sent to their personal device. This ensures that only the account holder who holds both pieces of information is given access.

    Banking websites also implement encryption at multiple levels to ensure that data moving through the network cannot be deciphered by a third party. Many banks also allow their customers to set financial limits to the funds that may be transferred through online funds transfer as a contingency measure to minimize losses in the unfortunate event of a compromised account. SMS’ are sent to the account holder for every transaction carried out, along with an alert if a transaction for an amount beyond the set limit has been initiated.

    Recent Trends

    The recent advancements in emerging technologies could enable new modes of more secure authentication without impacting customer experience. These advancements leverage the inherent capabilities of smartphones to introduce a third factor of identity verification. In three-factor authentication, in addition to furnishing their regular password and an OTP that appears on their token or mobile phone, users will be asked to present something that they possess, which would irrefutably prove their identity. This third factor could be captured using either an application that is installed on the customers’ smartphones or an inbuilt feature or capability of the device.

    Some examples of the third factor include fingerprint reading, retinal scanning, and voice recognition. There are other possibilities of biometric authentication as well, such as capturing words spoken by customers through their phone and matching them against a previously authenticated sample of voice that exists in the bank’s records, or asking them to take a photograph or retinal scan with their smartphone’s camera and send it to the bank for approval and authorisation.

    It is also possible for banks to perform a three stage authentication process for customers who don’t own a smartphone, by providing them a sensor module that can be plugged to bank agent’s device that is capable of capturing and transmitting the biometric information.

    Conclusion

    Sooner or later, every authentication present today will make way for more sophisticated ones. While multi-factor authentication looks like a fool proof solution under the current circumstances, it is also true that this will not deter an attacker completely, but simply slow them down. The implementation of security technology is not a one-time effort with a guarantee of a lifetime. It is an initiative that calls for constant continuous improvement because what looks like cutting-edge today will be standard fare tomorrow and obsolete a few years later.

    1. Emphasise (verb): give special importance or value to (something) in speaking or writing.

    Synonym: Focus attention on, highlight, underline, prioritize

    Antonym: Ignorance, unimportance, incompetence, weakness

    Sentence: The current economic situation has laid emphasis on curbing black money which was used for anti- social activities.

    2. Robust (adjective): strong and rich in flavour or smell.

    Synonym: Booming, sturdy, powerful, tough

    Antonym: Fragile, lethargic, wobbly, incapable

    Sentence: BSE and NSE use robust technology platforms for trading and better manage client’s shareholding.

    3. Phishing (noun): The fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

    Sentence: Businesses and financial institutions should adopt various anti-phishing strategies to protect their personal and financial information.

    4. Infiltrate (verb): Toenter or gain access to (an organization, place, etc.) surreptitiously and gradually, especially in order to acquire secret information.

    Synonym: Access, sneak in, pervade, saturate

    Antonym: Resist, Shelter, Defend, Aid

    Sentence: Airports, around the world, are being warned against terrorist infiltration since they are “extremely vulnerable” and could be used against catastrophic attacks from within.

    5. Allegedly (adverb): used to convey that something is claimed to be the case or have taken place, although there is no proof.

    Synonym: Supposedly, apparently, reportedly, presumably

    Antonym: Accurately, certainly, definitely, absolutely

    Sentence: She allegedly stole cash from her mother’s wallet and then went to buy a designer bag for her.

    6. Encryption (verb): To convert an information into code/ to conceal data

    Sentence: WhatsApp has recently introduced an end-to-end encryption service which will provide people better security over their conversations on WhatsApp.

    7. Deciphered (verb): To convert something into a normal language, to understand and interpret something

    Synonym: Analyze, decode, deduce, cipher

    Antonym: Conceal, mend, obscure, encode

    Sentence: Brahmi script was deciphered by James Prinsep, the founding editor of Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal, in 1837.

    8. Inherent (adjective): Something which is existing as a permanent or something essential

    Synonym: Intrinsic, inborn, deep-rooted, ingrained

    Antonym: Acquired, extrinsic, superficial, auxiliary

    Sentence: Honesty should be an inherent trait among everyone.

    9. Irrefutably (adjective): Something which is impossible to deny or disprove

    Synonym: Definitely, conclusively, evidently, beyond shadow of doubt

    Antonym: Doubtfully, dubiously, uncertain, indefinitely

    Sentence: Her arrogance was simply irrefutable.

    10. Cutting-edge (noun): edge of a tool’s blade, highly advanced stage in development

    Synonym: innovation, leading edge, forefront, pioneer

    Antonym: Conventional, fad, orthodox, established

    Sentence: The coming year (2017) will witness many cutting edges and upcoming smart phone features which will definitely impress users in many ways.

    Question (1-5): Answer the following as directed

    1. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘persistent’

    1. Unbroken
    2. Careless
    3. Continuous
    4. Demanding
    5. Other than those given in options

    Solution: Option (3)

    Explanation: The given word depicts continuity of action. Among the given options, option (3) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.

    2. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘prey’

    1. Citizen
    2. Victim
    3. Modest
    4. Unwilling
    5. Other than those given in options

    Solution: Option (2)

    Explanation: The given word means thatsomeone is targeted or victimized. Among the given options, option (2) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.

    3. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘confidential’

    1. Sensitive
    2. Organized
    3. Sorted
    4. Branded
    5. Other than those given in options

    Solution: Option (1)

    Explanation: The given word implies top-secret information which is accessible to few people in the trade or organization. Among the given options, option (1) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.

    4. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘minimize’

    1. Value
    2. Punch
    3. Diminish
    4. Stress
    5. Other than those given in options

    Solution: Option (3)

    Explanation: The given word means that something is reduced or decreased. Among the given options, option (3) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.

    5. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘chic’

    1. Sophisticated
    2. Complicated
    3. Experienced
    4. Educated
    5. Other than those given in options

    Solution: Option (1)

    Explanation: The given word means that someone is stylish or cultured. Among the given options, option (1) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.

    Good luck for your preparation.

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