Trusteer’s New Desktop Security Guard Swings a Big Stick

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We’ve all been there: You’re online buying some mauve throw pillows for your new sofa, and two months later, you realize your credit card has been charged for a mail-order bride from Sri Lanka. And the lucky groom has stolen your Social Security number, too. (OK, only some of us have been there.)

How did this happen? You had all the up-to-date virus protection and you never surf suspect sites. malware, that’s how. Sneaky, sneaky malware. Thankfully, a Tel Aviv-based start-up has taken a unique approach to safeguarding your online transactions.

Trusteer’s Rapport operates under the belief that trying to keep up with all the shots needed for today’s vicious malware is flat-out ridiculous – and unsafe. Instead, Rapport assumes your desktop is infected with these nasties and builds a “secure pipe” (their words, not ours) that makes your financial data and transactions more clandestine than an Agent 47 “Hitman” mission. Trusteer will cloak your keystrokes, establishes safe rules your browser needs to play by and authenticates e-commerce servers. Specific threats Rapport also thwarts include phishing, pharming, session high-jacking, screen-scrapers and even criminal agents existing in your box before Rapport is on the job.

Earning “Information Week” Start-up of the Week honors earlier this month, Trusteer has amassed $4 million in funding. Currently, the privately-held consumer fraud protection company only serves up Rapport to e-commerce outfits and banks, including ING Direct, who in turn make it available to clients. No word yet when and if the security app will be available to Joe Schmo users.

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