Financial services come with great deal of responsibility and there is no surprise there as financial industry operates with customers’ money and information that is highly confidential. Therefore, security remains the key concern for fintech services. Sure enough, every business owner in the industry strives to work out a strategy that will protect their customers’ interests.
As cybercrimes become more sophisticated by day, the aim of cybersecurity is to create methods that help to prevent data breaches. Prevention is better than cure, so fintech industry spends significant funds on security measures that enable detecting cyber threats and ensure their customers’ data stays protected before something bad happens.
Cybersecurity measures comprise passive detection and active detection methods.
Let us have a look at what these are.
Passive Detection Methods
Security Operation Centres
Security Operation Centre is a unit within an organisation that monitors and analyses security issues, including people, technologies and processes on a daily basis. The key role of SOC is alerting and responding to a suspicious activity. Working through a security strategy, SOC suggests ways of implementing it through multi-level monitoring process and correlating activity data to enhance company’s security.
Security Operation Centre encompasses numerous systems and log records, so often smaller companies are urged to outsource SOC services to perform proper monitoring and analysis of their activity, including networks, servers, databases, software, applications and more.
Honeypot is a type of security mechanism that acts as a virtual decoy to attract hackers. The purpose of this mechanism is to let attackers display the vulnerabilities of your systems by allowing them to target your network or software. The beauty of this technology is that it helps to understand attackers’ intentions and prevent the risks of system breaching in the future. Through analysing the attackers’ behaviour, honeypots give valuable insights into how cybercriminals operate and what they target. The technology allows detecting cybercriminal at early stage, misguiding and blocking them. In some cases, they can even be tracked down and caught.
Honeypots can be installed on OS, network or any software. The deployment model and design may vary, but the one thing that is common for all honeypots is this is a trap that looks like a real system or software.
Combining honeypots with other technologies will certainly increase the level of security for your systems.
Cyber Threat Intelligence
CTI (Cyber Threat Intelligence) is a collection of skills and knowledge about cyber and physical threats based on incidents experienced in the past globally. Monitoring of such incidents is done to mitigate the potential risks of cyberattacks in the future. SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) systems are a must-have for large companies. They provide monitoring and analysis of strange activity and real-time alerts to prevent unauthorised access to systems.
Canary tokens is a resource (a link, file or other) that is used for monitoring access to it. As a rule, the resources carry a very attractive name, like “Passwords”, “Salaries 2021”, “Strictly Confidential” to lure breachers open the file or link they are not entitled to open. The minute the resource is accessed, the alert is sent to notify the owner and enable him to take necessary steps.
Active Detection Methods
Early stage detection
The moment you detect unauthorised access to your systems, your first reaction would be to push the intruder back. However, monitoring the intruder’s activity may help you to analyse the patterns and behaviours of how the incident happened and work on your systems vulnerabilities. Experienced security experts would be able to quickly apply one of the passive detection methods to prevent access to a company data. This, of course, is only relevant if such incident was detected at an early stage. Otherwise, all forces should be given to detach intruders from the systems.
Companies providing financial services should have security checks and notifications for accessing their systems. These include logging in process, change of location or device, unusual access times etc. The notifications should be generated 24/7 and a responsible person or team should monitor and respond to them proactively. Based on the obtained data, the monitoring team can analyse where the system vulnerabilities come from and make every effort to prevent them in the future.
Despite the fact that fintech is a technology-driven industry, it still works with people. What business owners should remember is that forewarned is forearmed. Minimising human error is possible when your employees are aware of the security risks, know security protocols and understand the consequences of data leakage. Therefore, companies that invest into educating their staff about cyber hygiene face systems breaches much less than those who prefer not to.
Fintech industry continues to evolve and comes up with new solutions to withstand the risks of cyberattacks. We keep an eye on new technologies and methods put in place and happily share them with you. Stay tuned!