Providing an adequate protection against criminal ATM attacks is key

Feerica Articles, ATM Protection

Since the introduction of the ATM, criminals are making continuous attempts to get cash out of ATMs. In several cases these attempts have shown to be successful and for that reason criminals have never stopped attempting to attack ATMs and continue to try new modus operandi to get access to the cash in the ATM.

As consequence, ATM deployers have repeatedly been taking countermeasures based on the modus operandum applied by criminals during the most recent ATM attacks. This has led for ATM deployers entering a rat-race of applying defensive measures to prevent criminals to be successful in each new modus operandum. While on the other hand criminals rapidly developing new modus operandi to bypass these defensive measures and with success.

The development and deployment of each of these single countermeasures are costly but will only provide protection for one type of modus operandum only.

The criminals attacking the ATMs are continuously looking for alternative ways to get cash out of ATM by bypassing these measures deployed by ATM deployers and thus a single countermeasure will protect only for a short period of time.

Countermeasures like higher grade ATM safes, additional sensors, mechanical blocks inside the ATM cash dispenser, smoke generators, sirens, CCTV cameras, passive ink staining, limiting the amount of cash, etc. etc, are all meant to be preventive measures to create extra barriers for criminals and just addressing one type of criminal modus operandum and/or are not adequate.

However, criminals are very knowledgeable, cost sensitive and mostly well organised as international crime networks for which country boundaries are not existing. They will continue attempting to get access to the physical cash in the ATM as long as the reward is still obtainable for them.

In Feerica’s view, the only effective way protecting against all types of ATM attacks is to eliminate the reward for criminals by making cash immediately unusable for criminals when the ATM gets attacked.

It is good to see ATM deployers in many countries are realising this as well and start taking the right decisions to start protecting their ATMs effectively. To protect not only their ATM assets but perhaps more importantly, theirs and other party’s staff and the enormous collateral damages these attacks are causing. Not only from a cost perspective but also the huge impact it has on the society and on the confident of the consumers in cash and in their bank.

Beside this there are there a lot of good initiatives were parties like ATM deployers, law enforcement parties, central banks, governmental departments, CIT companies, etc. start cooperating closely, learn from experiences in other countries with the goal to put these attacks to a standstill.

Where some countries decide to regulate the use of IBNS via the law, or like in other countries, where strong recommendations are being provided by law enforcement parties, central banks, ministries, association of banks, etc., to use an active and effective IBNS in each off-premise ATM.
Also,  in case of ‘End-to-End’ cash protection it can even be an operational requirement from CIT companies to be better protected and be able to accept liabilities for carrying the cash to the ATM. 

Therefore, ATMs must be equipped with the right technology for a cash degradation system to devalue absolutely 100% of all the cash in the ATM and thus eliminating any possible reward for criminals. ATMs must have a very effective, reliable and active IBNS, Intelligent Banknote Neutralisation System, within the ATMs.

This IBNS must be capable of protecting your ATMs from all kinds of criminal attacks varying from ram raids, ATM pull, gas explosive until multi-charge solid explosives attacks. But besides protecting against existing criminal modus operandi, the same IBNS system should be intelligent and flexible to adopt new criminal modus operandi when they arise. It’s key when investing in IBNS technology that it is not only protecting against current threats but also is configurable to protect also against future treats.

Over the last 15 years Feerica has been closely involved with all mentioned stakeholders to protect ATM assets and have developed over these years an extremely reliable and flexible Smartstain IBNS solution for its customers.

Only an intelligent, highly effective, efficient, and reliable IBNS cash degradation system, like the Smartstain technology, can effectively eliminate the reward for the criminals and will stop criminal attacks on the ATMs providing protection against both physical and logical attacks!

Smartstain ATM protection is a full multi-vendors ATM protection solution and can be used in both static ‘IN-ATM’ cash protection as well as ‘End-to-End’ cash cycle protection. 

Smartstain has currently been deployed on over 20.000 ATMs across Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and South-Africa reaching towards 75.000 Smartstain protected ATM cassettes. In Europe alone Smartstain has been deployed in countries in Northern, Western, Middle and Eastern regions as well regions such as Iberia and other Mediterranean countries on more than 12.000 ATMs. 

Case studies from multiple countries around the world are proving the effectiveness of Smartstain systems showing a significant reduction of criminal attacks on ATMs.

Feerica’s Smartstain technology does not only deliver excellent results in cash degradation but also proof to be extremely reliable and in almost always results in an increased efficiency of ATM Cash-in-Transit (CIT) operations and decreased the operational costs running the Feerica IBNS systems.

As Feerica we clearly understand the malicious reputation ink dye systems often have in the market. This argument is predominantly valid for old ATM ink dye technology still being used but not being designed to give the level of protection and reliability as required nowadays. The use of these systems mostly results in an unacceptable high ‘false positive’ ratio as well as the substantial high costs for maintaining these systems during the ATM life span.

During the development of Smartstain, Feerica’s drivers for development of Smartstain, besides offering advanced technology at a low initial cost for its customers, are providing the highest level of reliability, total avoidance of ‘false positives’ and guarantee a system lifetime of at least 8 years or longer covering the total life span of the ATM. This has resulted not only in a very reliable solution but also solution with substantial lower cost of ownership for the ATM deployers compared to other IBNS ink dye products in the market.

With the unmatched Smartstain technology, Feerica has clearly set the highest standard for an effective, reliable and cost-efficient technology to protect its customers against current and future criminal modus operandi in ATM attacks.

By Marcel Bosland
Business development director – Feerica S.A.