LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 – PRIVACY & SECURITY, THE HAGUE: Magdalena Mielcarz, EMEA head of channel & enterprise services – treasury & trade, Citigroup, pointed to the $81 million recently stolen from Bangladesh Bank by hackers to show the stakes are high with cyber crime.

And it’s not going to get any easier as hacking becomes “industrialised,” she warned. The key tactic used by intruders is to leverage human weaknesses. “Social media is mined to identify individuals and company structures then spoof CEO emails are sent requesting a transaction linked to a M&A deal that has been executed recently,” she said.

There are three steps to any attack: beneficiary change; CEO impersonation; and online account takeover. “The hackers use social engineering tactics and put pressure on employees.  A mixture of all three is more present in what we are seeing at present,” she said.

Citigroup’s response puts more emphasis on partnerships, and beyond just implementing an IT fix. “Security goes beyond technology to people and processes.”

Building a strategy defence is also important, she said. Among the key considerations of such a defence include biometrics and tokenisation.

“Security threats are becoming more prevalent. Mobile is front of attack but defence too,” she added.