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Reining In Mobile Data

April 29, 2011 No Comments

SOURCE: Bank Technology News

Bank IT execs don’t have to be control freaks to worry about the rapidly multiplying risks that result from the use of mobile devices outside the firewall by both executives and consumers.

“The mobile channel certainly presents a challenge to GRC [governance, risk and compliance] because one of the core elements of GRC is continuous monitoring. These new mobile platforms have various levels of support for monitoring, and some of them have very little capability to monitor,” says Chenxi Wang, vp and principal analyst for Forrester Research.

There are emerging middleware options born from enterprise content management systems (ECM) for CIOs concerned about how to marry mobile activities to the institution’s overall crime prevention, compliance and performance measurement operations. The technology is being developed during a time in which a substantial and growing percentage of financial transactions are happening on mobile devices, while sales, service and executive staffs increasingly use BlackBerrys and other handsets for sales and business purposes-in some cases using the mobile devices for non bank-related personal activities that expose the bank to extra risk. “People are doing things with the devices that institutions wouldn’t let them do if they were hooked up to the PC environment,” says Phil Blank, senior research analyst for security, risk and fraud at Javelin Strategy & Research.

That creates problems for not only regulatory compliance and audit trails, but also security. Julie Conroy McNelley, senior analyst at Aite, says that as use of mobile devices expands, there’s a whole new venue for fraud. “In terms of locking down any of these devices, it’s a problem for IT staff,” she says. “The types of data that can be compromised is pretty broad.”

Nara Bank has licensed an ECM suite from Laserfiche to manage workflow security, accuracy and compliance and to integrate mobile activity with the bank’s core systems. The $3 billion-asset Los Angeles-based bank, which specializes in business banking, does not offer corporate mobile banking, but does outfit its internal staff with BlackBerrys for sales, marketing and general business purposes.

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