At least once a day, the National Cyber Alert System sends out an alert to warn consumers of potential security threats.

Antivirus software provides a valuable service, but it is not able to keep up with the large influx of new and threatening invasions.

Every time a new virus, malware program or other security threat is created, it must first be found and deconstructed before a defense can be built and deployed.

According to the report "A Closer Look at Endpoint Security" by Symantec, "Antivirus and antispyware software, primarily reactive in nature, may have been sufficient to protect vital resources a few years ago, but not today. Proactive endpoint security measures that protect against zero-day attacks as well as unknown threats are now vital."

Former Aite Group senior analyst Nick Holland concluded in a report issued in January that "given the relative speed and cost-efficiency for deployment, the most practical method of mitigating card fraud today would be based around end-to-end encryption. Cutting off the supply of data via a national-level deployment of end-to-end encryption would significantly reduce counterfeit and lost and stolen card fraud."

By offering personal credit card readers to customers, banks provide a true endpoint security solution.

Customers simply plug the device into their personal computers and then swipe their credit cards either to log in to their online banking account or make purchases just as they would at a store. Many banks offer these devices to merchants already.

With such consumer demand for increased security, banks would be wise to offer personal credit card readers to their consumer customers as well.

As opposed to manually entering credit card information into the designated fields on the checkout screen, the information is automatically populated with one swipe.

The credit card information is safe from the moment a customer swipes the card because the information is never stored on the computer. It is encrypted at the point of the device and then sent to the site.

Because they secure sensitive data at the point of origin before it ever reaches the computer, personal credit card readers protect sensitive financial and personal information from endpoint threats such as keylogging, spyware and man-in-the-browser attacks.

And better yet, they don't need to play catch-up as new threats emerge: they are secure by design.

Personal credit card readers are critical in today's financial environment because Internet fraud and identity theft are a growing problem around the world.

Banks can help make that possible, thus giving themselves a competitive edge to gain and retain customers, build customer loyalty and generate additional revenue.