Israel cybersecurity tech helps NatWest catch online crooks

BioCatch, which tracks behavior to detect online fraud, says UK bank has successfully tried its tech with clients

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Screenshot of some of the over 400 parameters BioCatch checks (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Screenshot of some of the over 400 parameters BioCatch checks (Photo credit: Courtesy)

BioCatch, a cybersecurity company that tracks behavior to catch cyber crooks, said UK’s NatWest bank has successfully tried its technology with clients.

NatWest, one of the largest banks in the UK, has deployed BioCatch technology since the beginning of the year within its private banking arm Coutts and for some of its business customers, successfully preventing online fraud and helping to protect its 14 million customers, BioCatch said in a statement.

NatWest and BioCatch plan to pilot the technology with the bank’s personal banking customers sometime in 2017.

BioCatch’s system captures more than 500 points of behavior such as hand-eye coordination, pressure, hand tremors, navigation, scrolling and other finger movements to create unique user profiles. This allows BioCatch to distinguish the normal behavior of an authorized user from that of an unauthorized user, as well as to recognize automated BOTs, RATS, malware and other malicious account takeover attacks, where the victim is typically unaware that the banking session has been hacked.

BioCatch Scrolling Patterns (Courtesy)
BioCatch Scrolling Patterns (Courtesy)

“The technology that we’ve been able to deploy with the help of BioCatch has played a crucial role in strengthening our security systems,” said Simon McNamara, chief administrative officer of NatWest. “The breadth of behavioural biometrics that BioCatch technology can monitor is really impressive and we’ve already seen many examples of it alerting us to suspicious activity and protecting our customers from fraud,”

During the months the technology was active within the bank’s systems, it was able to stop fraudulent attempts to transfer funds; identify remote access Trojans during an online session and identify fraud attempts occurring across both online and mobile channels, BioCatch said.

“With 48 percent of data security breaches across the financial services industry involving compromised web applications, the importance of validating a user not only at login but throughout a session as a way to prevent fraud, has taken on increasing urgency,” Eyal Goldwerger, the CEO of BioCatch said.

Natwest is part of RBS, which includes Royal Bank of Scotland, Coutts, Ulster Bank, Adam & Company, Drummonds, Isle of Man Bank, Lombard, Child & Company, and Holt Military Banking. Natwest serves customers in England and Wales, providing them with personal, private, business banking services. Earlier this week RBS held a hackathon in Tel Aviv to scout for new Israeli financial technologies.

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