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Alpian will never ask for that!

Alpian will never ask for that!

24 June 2024

Cybersecurity? Let’s demystify a non-financial topic, which still relates to the protection of your wealth. There’s a segment of activity growing way faster than inflation - hackers, scammers, and fraudsters, all belong to a very lucrative industry - Cybercrime!

Cybercriminals want your personal information and your money. Most of the time, as a customer of any service, you will be on the frontline and alone in the initial traps set by Cybercriminals. While Alpian can help you remediate some situations, it’s definitely better to remain safe firsthand.

This article is part of a series of mini-publications to help you navigate as safely as possible this so-called red ocean, full of sharks.

Figures highlight

In its semi-annual report for the second half of 2023 published in May 2024, the National Cyber Security Centre has received more than 30,000 cyber incident reports, twice as many as in the same period last year. It is even worse for phishing attempts with 5536 reports.

Reports to the NCSC in the second half of 2023 by category

How to safely engage with Alpian

Let’s start with the end in mind! Here are some reminders on how to safely engage with Alpian, especially our Banking Specialists and Wealth Managers.

Alpian owns a single valid Internet domain - -. As a Mobile-only Digital Bank, Alpian will never ask you to engage in any banking activity outside the official Mobile Application, available on Apple's App Store or Google Play Store.

You can engage whenever you want with Alpian, through various channels:

  • Mobile App for general banking services, including the Chat or Video calls

  • Contact forms on the Alpian-Website

Why does your personal information matter?

When subscribing to digital services, companies request personal information from you at various levels. Bank and Insurance companies are probably the ones requiring to provide the biggest number of documents and personal details. As a partner working alongside you to protect and expand your wealth, it’s quite normal.

As such, Banks are part of the highly regulated companies worldwide with many laws and regulations, both at global and local levels. As of 2022, Alpian obtained a FINMA license and launched the first digital premium bank in Switzerland. By design and day-to-day, Alpian ensures stringent controls on your data privacy and the information security that pertains to client data, transactions, etc.

As an Alpian customer and actor in the global and worldwide payment network, you have a role to play, and actually not an easy one! Most of the time, as a customer of any service, you will be on the frontline and alone in the initial traps set by Cyber criminals. While Alpian can help you remediate some situations, it’s definitely better to remain safe firsthand.

Cybercriminals want your personal information and your money. Cybersecurity is a secret world and a world of secrets! You may have in mind TV shows such as Mr. Robot, which can be pretty accurate actually, but scammers and fraudsters are not all wearing a black hoodie… Cybercrime has indeed transformed into an industry, structured like any other business, and it’s highly lucrative.

You are on the frontline

As a Chief Information Security Officer at Alpian, you may think I’m safe from this kind of trouble. While I have some ability to detect traps and insecure digital behaviour, I am not bulletproof, and I got trapped in 2023 on a malicious website as any consumer might be. I’m still learning, and you can do so as well.

Let’s focus here on your personal information and review together what Alpian will never ask!

Protect your personal data

Alpian already knows about your data. Why would we ask another time, especially in ways that may qualify as unofficial?

Your personal data is yours and should remain private as much as possible.

A few guidelines:

  • Do not share your login details and credentials - they ensure you are the one doing the banking activities in front of your smartphone.

  • Do not share one-time passcodes (OTP), for the same reasons as above

  • Do not provide personal information over the phone, Alpian already knows about it

  • Do not disclose any online banking information, such as card PIN or CVV - they can be used by fraudsters in merchants that do not ensure your identity with, for instance, 3DS confirmation with most online payments.

  • Alpian will never contact you to verify your account information via email or phone

Ensure a safe digital experience

Alongside the trap of sharing data in some maliciously framed scenarios, in which you are directly involved, you may also unintentionally share your personal data. On a day-to-day basis, your digital behaviour is more or less likely to facilitate the work of scammers and fraudsters.

As much as possible, develop your awareness regarding the:

  • Download of unverified mobile or desktop applications

    Some third-party applications may try to get access to the content of your smartphone or the content of other Mobile Applications, acting sometimes as a data sink for all your personal data, contacts, etc. This could be considered data theft, but you acknowledge it somehow by installing the application.

  • Download of Web Browser extensions

    Same as above, while this relates more to the laptop or desktop experience.

  • Click on Suspicious Links

    Easy said, harder to achieve… before clicking, try to verify the domain. If you're unsure, manually type the domain in your Web browser. Sometimes an eye-unnoticeable typo can land you in a malicious copy of a corporate website.

  • The download of unknown attachments

    Similar to a web link, you can check the provenance of an attachment or any kind of document. As the document can be weaponised, it is safe to have an antivirus running on your computer to possibly quarantine any suspicious download.

  • Grant Remote Access to Your Computer

    This can be done with a shop helping you with laptop or smartphone troubles, however, Alpian will never ask you to grant remote access or perform any screen sharing.

Ensure a safe banking experience

Alpian has launched a digital and unique banking experience with a clear picture of services. Alpian will not offer any service outside of our official mobile application. You can for sure engage on social networks and participate in the various events we organise and sponsor, however, this is not banking services.

A safe banking experience is a huge concern that goes beyond this article. I’ll write specific, focused articles for each noteworthy topic.

A few guidelines:

  • The main guideline here is to avoid any interaction with your bank in unofficial ways (use the official website, and the official mobile application, and do not grant access to your computer).

  • Our highly skilled and professional Alpian team will never pressure you to take any urgent action concerning banking services. They will never use fear-inducing language as well.

Sébastien Féré is the Chief Information Security Officer at Alpian and has more than 15 years of experience in IT & security alongside a significant private banking background either as an employee or consultant (Alpian, Lombard Odier, Union Bancaire Privée, Pictet). Recognised for his expertise and holistic understanding of the IT landscape, he loves shaping high-quality standards and practices in organisations. He holds an engineer’s degree from Polytech Nancy and a master’s degree in bioengineering & biomaterials. As part of a continuous learning process, he passed various certifications among Cloud & Kubernetes and is a certified ISC2 member. In his free time, Sébastien enjoys 4 seasons of outdoor activities, running the mountains being his favourite.

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