Protecting Against The Worm In The Apple

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It's time credit unions beef up fraud prevention skills around Apple technology and start collaborating locally with CU fraud experts.

Jim Park, president and CEO of CU24, placed those two steps at the top of his list of recommendations for what CUs need to do to deter fraud in 2011. "The main area for fraud risk comes at the consumer level. Surprisingly, Apple has been ignored all these years. But there are a lot of products now attached to Apple."

The American workplace, long the realm of PC-based technologies, is increasingly adapting the same Apple technology that consumers have embraced. To date, Apple solutions have not been targeted by hackers due to the limited marketshare. "That's changing in 2011, as well, we think, based on corporate data that places Apple at high risk. Now iPods and iPhones are being accepted and used in workplace as well."

Once credit union members, or even employees, get a Trojan on their iPhone and then connect to the credit union system via VPN, hackers are in, Park said. "Credit union fraud prevention knowledge here needs to improve. It's not ignorance, just less familiarity and less concern about Apple. But it is easier for fraudsters to start anew on Apple since not many organizations are prepared to do anything with Apple apps."

Park said credit union IT teams need to improve their fraud prevention skills around Apple, and can improve overall knowledge by partnering. "They can band together with local credit unions, form working groups with other fraud officers, and share phone numbers. They gain skill and knowledge of what is happening in the local market, which can possibly keep them ahead of fraud attacks."

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