Santander is to offer its online retail banking customers the Rapport web browser security service.

Created by Trusteer, the service helps to protect banking sessions by blocking and disinfecting a user's machine from high risk financial malware and prevents tampering with website communications and transactions.

When a user browses to sensitive websites the service immediately locks down the browser and creates a tunnel for safe communication.

Mick Paisley, head of information security and business resilience at Santander, said: “The rollout of Trusteer secure browsing service to the UK retail banking customers of Santander is one of the largest free offers of online banking security by a UK bank.

“We are seeing the level of attacks by cyber criminals broadly increasing both in terms of volumes and sophistication. Taking precautions can have a disproportional protective effect, customers don't have to do much to significantly increase their levels of protection, and Trusteer is one of those things which provide a significant benefit with minimal effort.”

Mickey Boodaei, CEO of Trusteer, said that more than 70 banks have adopted the Rapport software to cover more than 12 million customers. “Santander's contribution to this network is extremely valuable due to its vast experience in fighting online fraud and protecting millions of customers,” he said.

“While most users have desktop protection of some sort, they still don't have good protection against online banking threats. These threats are highly targeted and highly sophisticated and fly under the radar of traditional desktop security solutions. Trusteer is entirely focused on working with the banks to identify and eliminate these threats through an array of services.”