The team at PEXA continues to explore techniques and technologies to align with the ever-changing security landscape. Below is an update on current security initiatives happening on the PEXA platform including our insights into a topical security concern – phone porting.
In September, multi-factor authentication (MFA)was rolled out to PEXA members. MFA requires the user to provide two or more types of evidence to verify their identity when logging in to an account or completing a transaction. This includes a password and unique authentication code which regularly changes. Members choose to receive an authentication code by SMS, the PingID mobile app, or the PingID desktop app.
MFA was added as another layer of authentication on top of digitally signing. Members with the relevant authority must digitally sign-off transactions with their unique [bespoke] digital signing token and PIN, confirming that all details are correct prior to the transfer of funds.
More than verification
Additionally, we initiated the following measures to boost the protection of members while transacting online:
Increased monitoring of unusual activity surrounding password resets, new user creations and changes to BSB and account numbers. If such activity is detected by PEXA, a member of PEXA’s team will contact members to confirm that the activity is legitimate.
Machine learning algorithms to detect behavioural anomalies on a per user basis. If the behavioural pattern of a user changes, PEXA’s risk profiling mechanism is activated to trigger an alert. The member will then be promptly contacted by PEXA’s Security team.
Workspace time stamps and summary screen so that members can see when the Financial Settlement Schedule was last updated and by which user.
A current concern from industry is the possibility of phone porting – a situation where a scammer uses your personal details to port your mobile number from one provider to another, therefore accessing further personal details.
With a suite of security measures in place to protect PEXA members and your clients, and lawyers and conveyancers continuing to practice their due diligence, the
small percentage of members who have chosen to receive their authentication code via SMS should not be alarmed.
It is important to note that for phone porting to occur, the scammer would require several pieces of a user’s ID, as well as the ability to convince a service provider to transfer the SIM details from one telco to another. Therefore, not only would the scammer need to know the targeted user’s personal information, they would also need to know if that user has chosen SMS as the preferred method.
To assist in preventing this from happening, I advise members to remain vigilant of people calling, emailing and requesting personal details.
If you have any questions about this information, please don’t hesitate to reply below.