WASHINGTON (1/3/11)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), along with federal bank and thrift regulators, issued a supplemental guidance on Internet banking authentication late last week to update supervisory expectations. The guidance, also meant to reinforce the practices of risk management specified in a 2005 authentication guidance, updates supervisory expectations for the effectiveness of member authentication, layered security and other controls used to secure member accounts and fight fraud. Convenience and cost savings have driven up the use of online transaction services since the 2005 Authentication in an Internet Banking Environment was unveiled, the NCUA noted in its Letter to Credit Unions (10-CU-24), and the “Internet threat landscape has changed significantly.” “Sophisticated hacking techniques and growing organized cybercriminal groups with expertise, skills, and resources are increasingly targeting financial institutions, compromising authentication mechanisms, security controls and engaging in online fraudulent activities,” the agency noted. The NCUA letter, signed by Chairman Debbie Matz, encourages federal credit unions to implement the supplemental guidance to help secure members’ online accounts and sensitive member information. Use the resource link to access the authentication guidance.