ATM Security Measures – Prevention is Better than Cure

ATM Security Measures – Prevention is Better than Cure

Why wait for a security breach to take place before taking the right ATM security measures? Rest assured, proactive security measures could save a lot more time and money as compared to reactive security measures.

Moreover, this is an on-going process. With the advent of any new technology, particularly security systems, criminals equip themselves accordingly. Therefore, it is crucial to be prepared for every possible threat when renting or purchasing an ATM.

Possible Security Threats

Card Skimming: This is an illegal way to collect data from the magnetic stripe of an ATM. It allows criminals to steal the identities and money of ATM users. Since this kind of threat is pervasive, it is becoming increasingly sophisticated with time.

Skimmers now have Bluetooth, texting technology, and keypads that let the user use an ATM without a hint of insecurity, and their data is transferred, within seconds, to the criminal.

Dummy ATMs: Ever wondered why the costs of ATMs are much lower on C2C consumer markets as compared to the service providers. This is because they are dummy machines and they have only one purpose, i.e., to read data. This results in failed transactions and collection of debit/credit card information.
Ram-Raid: ATMs are a frequent target for ram-raiding. This involves smashing the machine to retrieve as much cash as possible or exerting brute force to remove the ATM from its place physically.

Once the ATM is removed from its position, criminals are free to perform a post-mortem on it with ease.
Changes in PIN: As mentioned earlier, criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated with their fraud and theft techniques. They can use specific hacking methods to change customers’ safety PIN.  Caller ID spoofing is one way to achieve that.

They can use publicly available information – mothers’ maiden name, date of birth, last four digits of the bank account – to verify themselves as customers.

ATM Malware: This is malicious software that is used to exploit any loopholes in the cash machine. They are usually installed for ‘jackpotting,’ which dispenses large amounts of cash on the hackers’ discretion, but crucial financial data and card information can also be retrieved from its use.

Installing the software usually requires physical access; however, with continuous advancement, hackers will be able to install malware by gaining access to a bank’s network.

ATM Security and Fraud Prevention

ATMs are an easy target for numerous physical and software threats, particularly these days when the advancement of technology is quite rapid. Hence, security protection plans are highly recommended by PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).

To physically protect your ATM (s) from any mugging and raid, strong measures should be taken, such as capable security guards, surveillance equipment covering the inside and outside the area of the ATM, functional ATM security locks, credible ATM enclosure, and constant monitoring systems.
Apart from these fundamental steps, advanced measures are also recommended to ensure security, such as the installation of physical barriers to ensure that ATMs are not tampered with, installation of multiple security mechanism, and prompt alarm/response systems.

Similarly, you can implement software protection in some ways, such as installing firewalls, Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) and Intrusion Detection System (IDS) that will ensure the safe exchange of sensitive information.

Moreover, personalizing access to the ATM network can narrow the number of users, avoiding any unnecessary threat from other users.

Indeed, cyber and physical security of ATM(s) is a continuous process. Even if you take all the necessary measures to protect your cash machines from any mishap, current techniques are bound to become obsolete after a particular time, resulting in a more significant threat if not updated.

Therefore, organizations and individuals will benefit more by delegating this responsibility to ATM service providers. They are much more equipped to update the ATM(s) and provide suitable security measures.

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