Enhanced Online Security For The Banking Industry

August 12, 2007

Columbia, SC – July 23, 2007  –  South Carolina Bank and Trust is introducing Enhanced Online Security to protect its Personal Online Banking customers against identity theft.

Earlier in 2007, new legislation began requiring enhanced online security to its personal Online Banking customers.  This new process, known as Multifactor Authentication, is being introduced to meet new regulations to provide greater security for online banking customers by providing an extra layer to the log in process when customers engage in Internet banking.

Personal banking customers will be asked to select one of 10,000 images as their authentication image.  Then, the customer will enter a phrase for the randomly selected image and provide three challenge questions to help them remember what they selected.  After this process is completed, the enhanced online security will recognize the customer and display the private image and pass phrase.  If they match the customer’s private image and phrase, the customer enters their password and can begin doing their Internet banking.  If the image and pass phrase do not match, the site is fraudulent and the customer should not enter their password. 

It is our goal to provide the highest level of security possible for our Online Banking customers, said Rodney Overby, executive vice president and chief information officer for SCBT.  These new regulations, while they may seem cumbersome at first, will provide increased security by preventing phishing and other fraudulent activities including identify theft.

The process is more comprehensive for business customers requiring a more frequent update with a digital passcode.  A demo of the both the personal and business enhanced online security process is now available on SCBT’s website at www.SCBTonline.com

Customers of banks nationwide have been targeted by phishing scammers who often use complex spam email campaigns to direct customers to phony Web sites that are elaborately created to look like the real site.  Many times, the phony email lures the customers by pretending to need updated account information and then asked the customer to verify their information.  

SCBT instructs its customers that it will never send an email asking them to update account information.  If they receive an email of this type, they should contact their local SCBT office immediately to report the possible fraud. 
More information about SCBT’s Enhanced Online Security process is available at www.SCBTonline.com.

South Carolina Bank and Trust, the 4th largest bank headquartered in South Carolina, is a subsidiary of SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: SCBT). Serving the financial needs of South Carolinians for over 72 years, SCBT Financial Corporation operates 45 financial centers in 16 South Carolina counties and has assets exceeding $2.2 billion. Visit us at www.SCBTonline.com.