Online Banking Help - Internet Security

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The Internet is a rapidly changing marketplace with a wide variety of goods and services available online. Although financial institutions agree on the merits of Internet financial services, some consumers are concerned about security.

This online service is built on a foundation of stringent security policies, rigorously tested technologies, and a highly trained and experienced staff. Our combination of Internet expertise and in-depth knowledge and experience in the financial services industry provide a secure solution to consumer concerns. You may rest easy knowing that financial information will be protected with state-of-the-art security every step of the way.

Secure Systems - Technology, Policies & People
Secure systems are a combination of technology, policies, and people. Our system is designed with security as a dynamic feature of the product, not an afterthought or add-on. The result is an architecture that utilizes a multi-layered approach to information security, providing safeguards and privacy throughout the process.

This architecture offers client-server authentication, data integrity, complete transactional privacy, and above all, resistance to all forms of "hacking" attempts. Layered security means that, rather than relying on a single security measure, layers of technology are utilized within the security architecture to distance the potential "hacker" as far as possible from the core of sensitive information and resources.

Security Architecture - Multi-layered Approach
Every financial transaction uses multiple layers of security and every layer adds a different technology resulting in a trusted system that is monitored at all times. The four basic layers are:

  • Browser
  • Firewall
  • Internal Network
  • People

The Web Browser Layer
The first layer of online financial security is the 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption between your browser and the Web Servers. SSL is the industry standard that provides secure access to online financial services from anywhere on the Internet using any current Internet browser.

SSL provides a secure channel for data transmission over the Internet. It allows for the transfer of digital signatures to authenticate users and provides message integrity, ensuring that your data cannot be altered en route. Browsers can also display a certificate to the user about the source of a secure transmission. This assures Internet users that they are communicating with the financial institution's service provider and not a third party trying to intercept the transaction on the Internet.

Encryption changes everything that travels across the Internet during your online session (including your Password, your bank statement, or instructions to pay a bill) into a string of unrecognizable numbers. Both our servers and the browser you use to surf the Web understand the mathematical formulas, called algorithms that turn your financial information into numeric code, and back again to meaningful information. These algorithms serve as the locks and keys of your account information. While the destination computer and your browser can easily translate this code back to meaningful language, this process is an overwhelming, almost impossible task for unauthorized intruders.

There are two types of encryption commonly in use - "domestic grade" or 128-bit encryption and "international-grade" or 40-bit encryption. The difference between these two types of encryption is strictly one of capability. 128-bit encryption is stronger than international-grade encryption. Using 128-bit encryption, means there are 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000 (a three followed by 26 zeros) times as many key combinations as there are for 40-bit encryption. That means a computer would require exponentially more processing power than for 40-bit encryption to find the correct key.

We require the use of 128-bit encryption for all financial transactions to provide the best security possible. In addition to browser encryption, there is server encryption for users who log in with a browser that has only 40-bit encryption. The server will accept the message and start a 128-bit encryption session from the server end. This ensures that all of your transactions have the strongest level of encryption.

To start a transaction, you enter an address in the browser to send a secure message that is encrypted by SSL to a server. The server responds by checking to see who you are (this is called authentication), comparing your encrypted User ID and Password against an encoded list, and starting the session encryption. If, for any reason, the secure session link is broken, the online session automatically terminates.

The Firewall Layer
An Internet firewall provides a point of defense. This is a controlled and audited access path to services from inside and outside the organization's private network. The firewall provides a second layer of security, selectively permitting or blocking traffic between the Internet and the protected network. Specifically, the firewall shields the server from any unauthorized Internet traffic. Only messages addressed to the secure server can pass through the firewall - all other traffic from the Internet is rejected. To pass through this checkpoint, your browser must know the protocol to use - in other words, the language to speak - that will allow it to obtain authorized information, but only from designated systems. The firewall creates extensive logs of all network traffic, providing centralized auditing and security monitoring.

The platform chosen for our Web Servers and Firewalls is Microsoft Windows NT. We collaborate closely with software and hardware manufacturers as well as telecommunications and security experts to provide a solution that not only meets or exceeds our essential security requirements, but also has the scalability, reliability, and endurance required to address the changing needs of our users.

Windows NT Server is designed with a sound, integrated, and extensible security model. It has been certified at the C2 level by the U.S. government and the E3 level by the U.K. government. We are not alone in this choice. Many of the largest corporations and government agencies around the world are using Windows NT.

The Internal Network Layer
The third layer of security - the internal network systems - prevent unauthorized users from accessing any transaction data from the Internet by means of physical or logical access controls. Transaction processing systems are not physically connected to the Internet. TCP/IP - the Internet's communications protocol - is not installed on the transaction processing system.

Once your transactions have been accepted by the server, they are carried over the proven secure network that financial institutions have been using for decades. The entire process from the financial institution to you is as secure as possible.

The People Layer
The fourth layer of security is people. Internet security does not rely on technology alone. Without everyone's participation, all of the security systems and technology in the world are worthless. Users must treat the User ID and Password for online accounts with the same care as an ATM or Credit Card and PIN. In addition, users must make sure that no one is physically watching when you enter your Password. If you are logged in to the service, be sure to exit the browser when you the leave the computer unattended. You should also take standard precautions to keep your system clean and free from viruses that could be used to capture Password keystrokes and financial information.

We don't view security as something that is set up once and left alone. Your online service provider constantly monitors the security system to be sure that your information is safe and secure. Any attempt to break into the system will be observed.

New advances in security technology are happening daily. As an active member of the Internet financial services community, we are continuously reviewing and enhancing security architecture to ensure that it provides the highest level of privacy and safety for you.

Where to Learn More about Internet Security and Electronic Commerce
The following is a website you can browse for additional information concerning Internet security:

Using RSA Public Key Cryptography -

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