BofA fortifies online banking with new security layer

FILE PHOTO: A Bank of America logo is seen in New York City, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo

(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp will start using an additional layer of authentication for its online banking services, the Wall Street bank said on Monday, amid a wave of high-profile data breaches at several big U.S. companies.

BofA said it would incorporate Intel Corp's Online Connect technology, that enables fingerprint touch payments, into its online banking systems starting next year. (

Cybersecurity is getting serious attention from U.S. companies, as concerns rise among financial market participants and regulators about the risks posed by cyber attacks.

The financial services industry is among the most vulnerable to cyber crime because of the massive amount of money and valuable data that banks, brokerages and investment firms process each day.

Just last month, credit monitoring firm Equifax Inc disclosed that cyber criminals had breached its systems between mid-May and late-July and stolen the sensitive information of millions of Americans.

BofA itself has earmarked about $600 million this year toward information security, its chief operations and technology officer Cathy Bessant told CNBC earlier this month.

The bank would spend a similar amount for information security next year, and has some 1,200 employees "dedicated to that effort," Bessant added.

BofA also said on Monday that customers with an iPhone X, Apple Inc's newest smartphone that will hit stores next month, can use the phone's Face ID technology for secure authentication into BofA's mobile app.

(Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)