SOURCE: PhoneFactor


September 29, 2009 09:30 ET

Associated Bank Secures Online Banking With PhoneFactor

PhoneFactor Protects Associated Bank Business Customers From Attacks Targeting Online Banking Sessions

OVERLAND PARK, KS--(Marketwire - September 29, 2009) - PhoneFactor, a leading global provider of two-factor security services, is pleased to announce that Associated Bank (Associated Banc-Corp), a full-service banking group with more than 300 locations in 160 communities, has selected PhoneFactor's phone-based two-factor authentication to secure business customers' online banking transactions.

Associated Bank business customers will have peace of mind knowing that their online banking has an additional level of security, but without the inconvenience of having to carry an additional device. When the user initiates a transaction from the Associated Bank online banking system, PhoneFactor will instantly call the user to verify the transaction details.

"In today's environment every customer has to be security conscious," said Associated Senior Vice President and Director of Treasury Management Todd Adler. "We are pleased to offer a leading-edge solution that helps protect our business customers and their accounts. This convenient automated solution utilizes technology that our customers have in place and are comfortable using. Out-of-band authentication means greater protection and quicker detection if someone attempts to compromise our customers' systems."

The SilentBanker trojan, which heralded the emergence of real-time attacks targeting online banking in late 2007, has been followed by countless attacks against live online banking sessions. The recent banking trojan, Clampi, is reported to have infected more than 500,000 computers since March of this year. The trojan sits in wait for a user to access one of more than 4,600 online banking, government, and business services websites then initiates fraudulent wire transfers. This particular trojan is targeting businesses, not consumer banking, in hopes of gaining accesses to higher balance accounts. And it circumvents security tokens and one-time-password technologies designed to protect online banking users. The best method of protection against these threats is out-of-band authentication, which verifies a user's identity through a separate channel. PhoneFactor leverages the telephone network for the second factor of authentication, providing real-time fraud alerts and thwarting even the most sophisticated attacks.

"As the frequency and sophistication of attacks targeting online banking continue to increase, out-of-band authentication is becoming widely recognized as a best practice for securing online banking sessions," said Steve Dispensa, PhoneFactor founder and CTO. "PhoneFactor's out-of-band architecture offers unparalleled security for online banking. As an IT security professional, as well as an online banking user myself, I am pleased to see organizations like Associated Bank implementing technologies that truly protect their customers from today's threats."

About PhoneFactor

PhoneFactor is an award-winning two-factor authentication service that uses any phone as a second form of authentication. Its out-of-band architecture and real-time fraud alerts provide strong security for enterprise and consumer applications. PhoneFactor is easy and cost effective to set up and deploy to large numbers of geographically diverse users. PhoneFactor was recently named to the Bank Technology News FutureNow list of the top 10 technology innovators securing the banking industry today. Learn more at

About Associated Bank

Associated Banc-Corp (, headquartered in Green Bay, WI, is a diversified bank holding company with total assets of $24 billion. Associated has approximately 300 banking offices serving about 160 communities in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. The company offers a full range of traditional banking services and a variety of other financial products and services.

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