Securing your ATMs during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published April 2, 2020

ATMs are now a necessity for banking customers as more financial institutions temporarily close their branches and lobbies. Especially in this climate, banks and credit unions must evaluate their security protocols for this critical infrastructure. Below is guidance to consider during the coronavirus pandemic.

Take precautions with ATMs that are not in use

As branches and lobbies close, ATMs in those locations may also be unattended—so it’s important to ensure these are protected. Consider removing cash from these devices or removing the ATM from the network while the branch or lobby is closed to keep unauthorized transactions from being processed.


Monitor (or even increase monitoring of) ATMs in the field

Expect new criminal behaviors—and new methods of attack—for your ATM channel during this time. With fewer people on the street, criminals could see an opportunity to attack ATMs that have cash and are still up and running. Use all the tools at your disposal to monitor these ATMs, whether through physical inspection (if feasible), remote monitoring tools, CCTV and video monitoring.

Use this time to review all policies:

  • Audit and assess your physical key management and processes.

  • Review and strengthen your password management if you have not yet deployed remote BIOS protection tools.

  • Review your staff access policies to make sure only necessary parties have access to the ATM. Now is also a good time to set your ATM cash dispensers to their most secure settings.

Banks or credit unions could also take some time to assess business rules and policies. It may be time to increase restrictions, further limit access and ensure systems are locked down per your business rules. If you have enterprise level solutions like whitelisting, you can review your administrative settings and make sure you have the right levels of restrictions and access based on your business rules.

For more information on ATM security, please visit us online or contact NCR or your local NCR representative. Find additional COVID-19 resources and articles at

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