How a leading provider of mobile banking in Germany manages mobile security

Star Finanz Software Development and Distribution GmbH, a Finanz Informatik company and part of the Savings Bank Financial Group, is one of the leading providers of mobile banking in Germany. In online and mobile banking, Star Finanz with its market-leading software solutions is the leading vendor for business and private users.

Since the release of StarMoney for private customers and StarMoney Business for small and medium businesses, Promon SHIELD™ has been integrated into the software. Promon’s patented mobile security technology provides comprehensive protection for StarMoney software against Trojans and Malware and was launched to the public at the Cebit Fair 2009.

Protecting against Trojans

The collaboration between Star Finanz and Promon started at the Cebit 2007, where the head of the development department, Jan Graffenberger, got to know the Norwegian company and their innovative Promon SHIELD™ security software. As a market leader for products and solutions for the financial sector, Graffenberger and his team of security developers always have to be one step ahead of malicious software and hackers. One of the requirements specified at that time was to effectively protect bank customers against threats such as trojans and keyloggers, without the need for continual updating of the software.

Through the so-called whitelisting Promon SHIELD™ provides, StarMoney is protected against access from all other programs on the system and is only allowed to communicate with specific and approved programs. Attacks from new and unknown Trojans are thus actively blocked. Here the Promon solution differs from conventional anti-virus and firewall vendors, which need to update their blacklists of known malware in order to retroactively identify the malware. With this approach, each new malware has to do some damage before the anti-virus software or firewall can provide protection. Thus, with anti-virus and firewall vendors each new threat requires a new security update which can result in considerable delays. With Promon SHIELD™ however, the application is protected at all times – without the end-user being involved. This increases the security for online banking with StarMoney, as outlined by Jan Graffenberger as the key selection criteria:

Above all, it was the superior knowledge of the developers in this area that convinced us. With Promon SHIELD™, a new level of security has been implemented directly into the program. Our customers directly gain from the groundbreaking work done by this company.

We especially liked Promon’s innovative approach to protecting the application instead of the whole system.


Comprehensive mobile security with support and trouble-free use

In order to secure maximum safety in online banking, the developers of Star Finanz are providing regular online updates and service packs ensuring that the software runs on all systems and harmonizes with all existing security solutions. Promon SHIELD™ works in the background and does not affect the performance of the application, attacks are blocked automatically. During the test phase, Star Finanz ordered an extensive security test by an independent third party – the S-CERT; the Computer Emergency Response Team of Savings Banks Finance Group, who in addition to the savings banks, Landesbanken and insurance companies are also connected to IT service providers. In order to verify the effectiveness of Promon SHIELD™, a whole series of attacks with the latest trojans, keyloggers, and other malware were carried out with all being successfully repelled.

Fully protected even with compromised client

Security is a top priority for online banking; for us as well as for our customers. Therefore, we want to ensure that we offer our customers a totally secure product. As the market leader, we carry a special responsibility to test our extensive security features and continuously develop them further. This includes always being one step ahead and identifying new trends. Our goal is to arm StarMoney against the increasingly sophisticated hacker, providing optimal protection for savings banks, their private and corporate clients against such attacks”, Graffenberger said.