Archive for the ‘Personal Finance’ Category

Bank Sued for Losses Due to Alleged Weak Security

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

In a previous post, I wrote how small businesses are being scammed by European cyber-hackers. In a related story, Computerworld reports how Pacto Construction Co. in Portland, ME is suing Ocean Bank of Delaware because the company lost hundreds of thousands of dollars due to allegedly weak security on the part of Ocean’s online banking system.

The main alleged weakness is the lack of two-factor authentication by Ocean Bank. While I am not sure that this places all of the blame in Ocean’s hands, and I think that Patco should be at least partially responsible for their losses if it is found that their own systems were compromised, a victory by the plaintiff in this case could set an interesting precedent to financial institutions who have not implemented strong authentication mechanisms in their online services. Banks and credit unions – take note! However, a victory by the defendant will likely send a very different signal, more to the tune of “If you bank online, you take your chances.” Small businesses and individuals – take note!

This week’s Data Security Podcast also has an excellent interview with the attorney who filed the suit on behalf of Patco.

Small Businesses Losing Millions to European Cyber-Gangs

Friday, August 28th, 2009

This week, the Washingon Post reported a fascinating story on how “organized cyber-gangs in Eastern Europe are increasingly preying on small and mid-size companies in the United States.” They appear to be targeting small businesses for the simple reason that they are easier nuts to crack than large financial institutions. (more…)

Software Review: Moneydance (Including a Rant Against Quicken)

Friday, August 14th, 2009

I recently started the process of converting my personal finances from Quicken to Moneydance. I have been using Quicken for at least ten years, not because I like the program, it’s just that it’s “what I’ve always used.” I decided it was time to apply some of my own consulting practices and take a look at my personal finance management situation as if I was a client, and ask myself “is this the best solution for my problem?” The answer was a resounding “no.”

(more…)