According to a recent study by Kaspersky Lab on its users, Singapore ranks as the top country worldwide for being attacked by banking Trojans in the second quarter of 2015, with 496 individuals reporting such attacks.
During that same quarter, Kaspersky Lab said that its solutions had deflected attempts to launch malware capable of stealing money via online banking on the computers of 755,642 users. This is a decrease of 18.7 percent as compared to the previous quarter.
Besides Singapore, Switzerland, Brazil, Australia and Hong Kong also made it into the list of top five countries. Conversely, the bottom ten of the list constituted New Zealand, South Africa, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates respectively.
Kaspersky Lab security solutions had registered a total of 5,903,377 notifications of malicious activity by programmes designed to steal money via online access to bank accounts in Q2 2015.
The percentage of Kaspersky Lab product users who encountered this threat during the reporting period in the country were calculated among all product users in the country. This is to evaluate and compare the degree of risk of being infected by banking Trojans which user computers are exposed to worldwide.
"Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to access vital information that can be monetised, especially when it comes to online banking. Securing critical data that can cause financial loss is essential for both individuals and businesses," said Vitaly Kamluk, Principal Security Researcher, Global Research & Analysis Team, Kaspersky Lab.
"As the ease of banking becomes more convenient, it is vital that individuals follow best security practices when on the Internet, recognising that they represent a portal or doorway for numerous malicious agents to get into bigger networks and systems, to wreak havoc and cause significant damage for the business they are part of," he added.
Singapore high inclination for digital banking
With the large number of technologically savvy consumers, high smartphone penetration rates and strong digital service adoption levels, Singapore is one of the Southeast Asian countries with the highest digital banking penetration rate, pegged at 94%.
Online banking in Singapore is also noted as the second most utilised service platform after ATMs, more than conventional branch visits and telephone banking, according to a study by Bain & Company.
"An A.T. Kearney and EFMA global retail banking study concluded that Singapore is the second country worldwide with the highest inclination for digital banking. The nation was also placed among the top three for banking capabilities, which included innovative technological developments, a robust financial environment and digital infrastructure," said Jimmy Fong, Channel Sales Director, Southeast Asia, Kaspersky Lab.
"Local banks also fare impeccably well in terms of online banking systems, providing cutting edge features to complement ordinary online banking services. This paves the way towards equipping banks in Singapore for the next level of digital banking," he added.
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