HSBC-long

If ever there was an online service that should be a security priority, it’s online banking.

This was proven this week as HSBC claimed they had “successfully defended” an attack on its online banking system. The cyber attack meant that important online banking services were disrupted on a key day for many people’s personal finances.

For any HSBC customers, that’s a pretty scary thing to be told. The place you trust to keep your hard earned money was under attack and it was your money at stake. However, a spokesman for HSBC said that they “successfully defended against the attack, and customer transactions were not affected” and they were  “working closely with law enforcement authorities to pursue the criminals responsible”.

Realistically, despite stories such as this, banks like HSBC are the safest place to keep your money and it shouldn’t put you off internet banking. Despite the Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack being launched on the company, measure were in place to defend it straight away and whilst there was a loss of service, there was no loss of actual money or information.

So what does this attack tell us about internet safety?

Well, this attack should serve as a huge reminder about how important internet safety is when using something such as internet banking. The bank themselves are doing what they can to keep your money safe so do your bit and don’t make it easy for the hackers.

Make sure you chose strong passwords for you online banking account, change them regularly and don’t leave them lying around. Ensure that your operating system and internet are fully updated before you bank online so you can be sure that the security is up to date. Don’t leave yourself logged in on public computers, don’t give other people access to your online banking account and don;t take your internet safety for granted.

These days, so much business is done online, including the transfer of money. In many trades and businesses, clients or suppliers are paid using BACS or online billing systems. Many businesses have a PayPal account and paper statements are a thing of the past. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a big business that doesn’t handle most of their finances online. So why would you leave yourself susceptible to an attack like the one launched on HSBC?

Interent banking is to convenient, and a great tool for business, but it must be treated with care and it must be included in your IT support strategy.