Global investment in FinTech has skyrocketed to $13.8 billion in 2016. About $4.5 billion comes from the Asia-Pacific regions. It comes from about 140 deals with high-end finance service companies. It is quite staggering. This sudden explosion in the banking technology market is raising some security concerns among the enterprises and the clients.
What happened at JP Morgan?
A recent history of a cyber-attack on JP Morgan compromised personal and sensitive data of more than 83 million customers. This attack is one of the most dangerous ones in the history of online marketing and finance. About 76 million households and 7 million SMBs faced a threat from this attack. JP Morgan is an international FinTech leader. They already had decent security measures for online transactions and data storage. Even that did not stop the hackers from gaining forceful entry into their private business database.
Cybercrime is a leading concern among all small and big finance services. Most services that have an online shop are employing enhanced security for their websites and their cloud storages. The boom in the use of native apps has increased the possible threat to a security breach in the local and cloud storages.
Who faces a threat from violation of website data?
The FinTech companies take a direct hit from these data breaches. However, their clients are not safe from the risk either. Currently, four types of users use online FinTech services and native apps.
- B2B users for banks and credit unions
- B2B users for business clients
- B2C users on behalf of SMBs
What are the chief concerns of every FinTech company?
Each FinTech company has its niche clientele. However, there are a few threats that are common among all of them.
Loss of financial data:
Financial information needs encryption on FinTech websites. However, there is no way to ensure that the online services do that unless they mention the use of 128-bit encryption on their website. If your FinTech solution website does not encrypt user data, hackers can instantly gain entry to the website and use unencrypted data.
Like the Nigerian Princes, many hackers are trying to get entry to the site databases on behalf of the foreign government. Although it sounds like the plot of a Bond movie, it is entirely accurate. Data is valuable for foreign nations, and financial data is a powerful instrument to gain access to a country’s finances.
Third-party fin services:
Third party vendors and providers are not uncommon in the banking sectors. Many leading companies hire them to spread their horizon. Third party services can compromise the security of client data. Cyber security should be an integral part of the third-party integration process. Although regular testing and updating can prevent security breaches, every company should have their dedicated third-party security plans to safeguard customer data.
Mobile banking services like M-Pesa and PayPal are live savers when it comes to instant money transfers and online payments. However, there are many third party applications and native applications that claim to help customers with similar services. Millions of people use mobile banking services throughout the day. They keep sensitive data on their devices. It makes the mobile banking process easier. However, storing your card details and bank account details on your mobile device is an open invitation to hackers.
Alteration of customer data:
This is the biggest threat all FinTech companies face today. Hackers do not always delete data or withhold it against ransom demands. Sometimes, they only change or alter sensitive customer information on a company database. This is worse than losing data. This makes all existing data corrupt since neither companies nor customers can trust it anymore. Regular data backups do help, but it is not enough to prevent hackers from altering data.
Chip and PIN attacks:
The EMV payments have made it possible to use credit cards and debit cards for online services. You can pay bills or shop for groceries online with your card details. Hackers are capitalizing this practice to launch PIN attacks and Chip attacks on card-based transactions. The EMV payment gives a new scope for launching hacking attacks. Data recovery plans are of significant help in the face of an EMV attack.
Hackers can use URLs similar to your financial services. They mimic legitimate websites to gain access to your information. Here, a user is willingly giving account details and card details to the hackers. Using a two-factor authentication or 2FA helps to secure user data from these kinds of spoofing attacks.
If hackers get access to the email accounts of any financial institution, they can use them to send emails demanding for money or sensitive information from the clients. This has happened quite a few times before. This is very simple, yet very effective to extract data from an unknowing customer. C-suite and high-value accounts are always at high risk.
Addressing the security issues of finance technology websites may be a costly affair. Almost all the allied steps to strengthen security involve some form of investment.
- Investment in cyber security
- Updates in firewall and cloud security
- Hybrid or private cloud storage
- Increased network security
- Encryption of sensitive data
- Increasing online and offline vigilance
New technologies keep challenging the security of online services. Businesses can protect their clients by just upgrading their cyber security plans and implementing encryption of data.
This article is written by Isabella Rossellini. She is an industry expert who currently works on the relationship of website security and success rates of finance sites. She has been working with a reputed company called National Debt Relief to help businesses secure their customer data and fight back hacking threats.