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Cyber Threats in E-Banking & its Effect on Consumers’ Behaviour: An
Lecturer in Commerce, U.N. (Autonomous) College of Science & Technology, Adaspur, Cuttack, India.
ARTICLE INFORMATION ABSTRACT
Cyber threats increases by the ongoing digitalization. More and more organizations rely on digital networks for their business
operations. This increases the risk for organizations and their customers of becoming victims of cybercrime. Over the past
few years there were several cyber-attacks in the banking sector and on various components of online banking. Those attacks
varied from stealing money to disabling online payment systems such as online banking through websites, mobile apps and
iDeal. Cyber-attacks in the banking sector are mainly fraud related, because of the financial gain and have many forms .The
impact of cybercrime has generated a significant risk exposure for individuals (personal harm) and organizations
(reputational harm). It includes exposure to financial losses, regulatory issues, data breach liabilities, damage to brand and
reputation, and loss of client and public confidence (Verma, Hussain and Kushwah, 2012). Cybercriminals can significantly
threaten the finances and reputations of banks and other (financial) organizations. Moreover, it affects the relationship
between the image of the organization and the trust that customers and other stakeholders have in the organization.
Consequent negative publicity can create some serious issues for organizations when they become victims of cybercrime.
The objectives of this study are:
1. To determine the types of cyber threats experienced by e-banking consumers.
2. To identify the effects of cyber threats on customer’s behavior in e-Banking Services
3. To proffer control measures to curb cyber threats.
Materials and methods
Methods of data collection: The study is based upon both primary and secondary data.
Vol. 9. No. 3. 2022
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Global Journal of Current Research (ISSN: 2320-2920) CIF: 3.269
A Quarterly Peer Reviewed Journal
Over the past three decades after globalization and financial sector liberalization banking
industry has grown rapidly with financial institutions providing online banking services and
encouraging customers to do online banking transactions such as money transfer, access
information about the account or otherwise as well as payment of monthly bills. During all this
time Internet crimes and thefts is bringing on forefront issues of cyber security all over world.
Again in Developing countries cyber security threats in banking sector are becoming more
pronounced and serious due to lack of financial literacy and awareness among customers.
Internet banking has become one of the fastest and easiest way of banking. The threat of cyber
security attacks set a great challenge for the Internet banking and electronic commerce (E-
commerce) industries. In this backdrop the present article determine the types of cyber threats
experienced by e-banking consumers; identify the effects of cyber threats on customer’s behavior
in e-Banking services and proffer control measures to curb cyber threats. Here 220 users of
online banking have considered through a structured questionnaire from students of different
colleges in Odisha. The study concludes that Online banking users should know common
security measures to prevent cyber-attacks and to secure their financial data.
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Primary data :
A survey was conducted with a target population of three i.e puri,khurda and cuttack districts in Odisha which comprises
students of different educational institutions. Convenience sampling was used for survey. The final questionnaire was
administered personally from 220 users of online banking in Odisha. The survey was done in the month of January 2020.
Besides primary data, secondary data is also used for the purpose of research. The secondary data has been collected from
various articles, working papers and websites of different banks.
A questionnaire consists of 50 questions was administered for customers to know their perception towards cyber-attack . The
questionnaire was tested in the P.G department of commerce, U. N. College Cuttack and based upon the feedback appropriate
changes were made to improve the questionnaire to make it more respondents friendly. The data was collected from 18 years
old and above of online banking customers. A sample size of 220( n=220) is taken into account for the purpose of study.
Types of Cyber Threat
To increase the awareness of available cyber threats among online banking users, it is important that users should understand
the available crimes. These cybercrimes are discussed in the further sections of this research.
Identity Theft: Using someone else identity such as name, date of birth, and address for fraudulent activities is one of the
common tactics adopted by cyber criminals when dealing with electronic businesses particularly online banking services.
Information obtained through identity theft by cyber criminals can later be used for many purposes such as opening new bank
accounts; obtaining credit card or loans and receiving state benefits. Identity theft is one of the world’s fastest growing
crimes and the Kingdom of Bahrain is one of the victims of identity thefts crimes.
Phishing: Phishing are tactics adopted by cyber criminals and fraudsters to make victims disclose their personal and other
secret financial information. For phishing, there are many tactics which are used by cyber fraudsters but the most important
tactics is sending a phishing email to online banking customers by pretending that a legitimate company/organization is
offering electronic services. A ‘spoofing site’, computer fraudsters designed website similar to the legitimate websites of
financial institutions, can also be used for the purpose of phishing activities and stealing financial information of the online
banking customers. The protection of online banking data is becoming difficult in today’s age of mobile applications as it
was found that researchers at Web sense Security Labs have stumbled upon a password-stealing Trojan that uses
sophisticated DNS redirection techniques to dodge server shutdowns and hijack online banking data. Phishing via mobile,
computer applications and social media sites are the common platforms which are regularly used by computer fraudsters. It
was reported by AFCC, Anti-Fraud Command Center, and that the total number of phishing attacks cost $4.5 billion of loss
in the year 2014.
Vishing: Vishsing or phishing using voice is a method of using fake call center using VOIP, Voice over IP, technique by
computer fraudsters to acquire online banking customer’s details and their financial data. To achieve the purpose an email
system is used by fraudsters asking online banking customers to confirm their banking details and other information as
process of security routine check at the phone number provided in the phishing email.
Malware: Malware (Viruses, Worms, Trojans and other threats) is the most significant threat available from cyber criminals
to gain unauthorized access to user’s accounts to steal their financial data and other sensitive information. The rapid growth
in mobile devices such as Smartphone and Tablet PCs leads to more development of the malicious software of Malware.
Malware applications are used over the last few years by computer fraudsters to perpetrate hundreds of thousands of frauds
against online consumers in business sectors particularly in online banking to draw off large amounts of money. Mobile
Phone Malware is important to be considered here as some of the growing mobile platforms such as Android are the most
targeted by malware authors and there is growing need to develop robust defenses against these sophisticated malware
applications targeting online banking services and other financial institutions.
Hacking and Cracking: Through hacking and cracking computer fraudsters can break into computer and computer networks
to steal financial information which can later be used for unauthorized purpose. Different malicious software could be used
for the purpose of hacking by computer fraudsters such as Trojan virus.
Automating Online Banking Fraud: Cybercriminals and computer fraudsters have now taken things a step further with the
help of Automatic Transfer Systems (ATSs). A new system has been started for an Automating Online Banking Fraud system
using in conjunction with Spy Eye and ZeuS malware variants as part of Web Inject files which is a text file with lot of
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Social Engineering: Social Engineering is the art of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential
information. The social science discipline of social engineering is commonly used by computer fraudsters and cyber
criminals to obtain financial data to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.
Social Networks: Social Networks are the common platforms available for cyber fraudsters to access information shared by
the account holders. The accessed information by cyber fraudsters can later be used for unauthorized purposes. These social
networks platforms such as Facebook and Twitters allows user to send an instant message and during the process users could
be redirected to some other website by providing a link by the fraudsters.
Denial of Services (DoS) Attack: Denials of Service (Dos) attacks are attempts by cyber fraudsters to make network resource
unavailable to its users. The nature of these attacks is so serious that individual distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks
could soon take down not just one site, but any intervening service providers. The costs of DoS attacks to critical
infrastructure organizations can be significant. A respondent to the 2005 Australian Computer Crime and Security Survey
reported a single-incident loss of $8 million arising from a DoS attack. Online banking services must consider the seriousness
of these attacks and cyber threats to its business growth and therefore serious measures should be taken to improve the level
of security and to maintain sustained business growth. There is constant need to improve the layers of security to the
applications of online banking services and to minimize the available threats coming from cyber space.
Electronic Gadgets and Mobile Phones: The use of smart-phones and other electronic gadgets such as Computer Tabs
becoming common practice in today’s electronic age. Security experts are predicting serious threats from cyber criminals and
computer fraudsters on the available platforms of smart-phones and computer tablets. The increase in customer accessing
online banking services and application through mobile devices and the available threats must be considered seriously by the
financial organizations and online banking services to make sure that they are skilled to operate their services on as many of
these new platforms as possible.
Electronic Media Platforms: People are using more sophisticated browser enabled platforms in their homes now. These
include media streaming devices and internet based or smart televisions offered by many manufacturers. An example of
Google TV is there too. Accessing internet via these platforms also create security concern for consumers. The platforms can
easily allow cyber criminals and fraudsters to manipulate variety of physical devices through controlled applications.
Consumer education and awareness is becoming more important on how to best utilize and access these electronic media
On the basis of data collected from users of online banking, we have analyzed the available information in following manner.
Fig 1-Frequency Measurement
The above Fig. 1 and its analysis clearly shows that only 20% of the participants use online banking services every day and
30% use online banking services once a week. The analysis proves that participants do online banking, except 5%. The 25%
respondents confirmed that they are using online banking services once a month while 20% confirmed that they are less often
using these services.
Fig. 2 (below) analysis proves the level of awareness of the respondents in regard to online banking services and available
cyber threats. As shown, 40% respondents are aware of the computer hacking, 5% are aware of phishing while other 5%
confirmed that they got awareness about vishing (phishing over VOIP). Out of 220 respondents, 15% confirmed their
awareness about identify theft and 5% confirmed about DoS attacks. 2% respondents confirmed their awareness about social
engineering. However, it is important to note that 23% respondents are aware about all the crimes and cyber threats
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mentioned in the survey. On the other hand, it shows that around 77% online banking users got limited awareness about
available cybercrimes and threats.
Fig 2: Awareness Measurement
Fig 3: Ability of Handling Threat Measurement
The analysis of above Fig. 3 confirmed that only 42% respondents are able to identify information security threats and further
they got the ability to handle with such threats. However, 33% survey respondents are not sure that they can manage the
available threats. 25% respondents as per the above analysis cannot identify such threats and also do not have the ability to
handle such threats.
Fig 4. Individual’s role in Information Security Risk
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Global Journal of Current Research 57
The analysis of the above Fig. 4 shows that 63% respondents of the survey are agreed or strongly agreed that the role of every
single individual is important in reducing information security risks. The other 26% respondents are not sure while 11% do
not agree with this.
Fig 5. Frequency of changing Passwords
The analysis of above Fig. 5 proves that only 12% respondents regularly change their password to keep their online banking
secure from online threats. 23% respondents hardly change their passwords while 45% never changed their passwords since
using online banking. The other 8% users are not even aware how to change their passwords of online banking accounts.
The conducted survey of this research based on 220 responses made it possible to draw the conclusion of this research. It is
important to understand and identify the security issues when dealing with online banking services. The confidence level of
the online banking users is measured. When dealing with online banking and other services, it is critical that users must be
aware about existing threats coming from computer fraudsters and criminals. Computer fraudsters use different techniques
and methods such as computer hacking, phishing, vishing, identify theft, denial of services, social engineering and many
more to steal the financial data of end users. It is therefore important that online banking customers must be aware about
these techniques and methods used by computer fraudsters. However, only 23% respondents of the survey confirmed that
they are aware about all the threats mentioned in the survey of this research. This proves that almost 77% online customers
got limited or no awareness about the threats available to individual and banking industry. This further opens doors for
computer criminals and fraudsters to access unauthorized customer’s information and to utilize them for their illegal activities
and objectives. The online banking users need to take extra care when dealing with banking services. However, more than
63% users are unable to identify and handle the existing information security threats. Also, about 65% users do not take any
extra care when dealing with online banking services.
Over the last few years, cybercrimes have become more intense, sophisticated and potentially debilitating for individuals,
organizations and nations. Law enforcement agencies are finding it difficult to check and prevent the crimes in the cyber
space because the perpetrators of these crimes are faceless and incur very low cost to execute a cybercrime whereas the cost
of prevention is extremely high. Targets have increased exponentially due to the increasing reliance of people on the internet.
Cybercrimes which were restricted to computer hacking till some time ago, have diversified into data theft, ransom-ware,
child pornography, attacks on Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) and so on. India is becoming increasingly vulnerable
to this menace because of rapid digitization and proliferation of mobile data without matching pace of cyber security and
cyber hygiene. As per CERT-IN, one cybercrime was reported every 10 minutes in India during 2017. These statistics are
quite alarming and therefore, merit focused and collective attention from Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA’s).However,
Online banking users should know common security measures to prevent cyber-attacks and to secure their financial data.
Based on the data findings and discussion above, this research recommends the followings;
1. The use of secure application software must be introduced or should be increased to increase the layers of online banking
2. More sophisticated and robust systems must be developed to monitor the activities of computer fraudsters and hackers to
make sure that they do not gain any unauthorized access to the financial information of online banking customers. This will
alternatively help the business transactions to be accomplished in secure environment.
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Global Journal of Current Research 58
3. The confidence level of the online banking users must be developed by educating them about the tools and techniques used
when dealing with online banking services.
4. The awareness about available online threats must be developed among those users who deal with online banking services
and the banking industry must take positive initiatives to achieve this objective.
5. Online banking users should use strong passwords and different user name combinations for different sites and accounts.
6. E-banking customers should be educated more about the importance of secure online banking environment.
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