5 Fintech security mistakes & how they can be avoided
The fintech industry has transformed people’s daily lives all over the world. However, the same popularity of fintech has intrigued cybercriminals’ interest, entailing the need for experts to assist in securing the fintech security ecosystem.
Cybercriminals are drawn to fintech startups because they know that they rarely invest as much money and effort in security measures as banks. The consequences of being a victim of cybercrime for fintech firms include total loss of trust from customers/consumers, business failure, and legal and financial consequences from which they will never recover.
Fortunately, fintech disasters can be avoided by correcting common security mistakes in the finance industry. This article focuses on the most common yet serious security issues confronting the fintech industry, as well as how to avoid making these mistakes:
1. Protect data at rest & data in motion: Companies typically prioritize cybersecurity in order to protect their company’s data and information from outsiders. However, both data at rest and data in motion are vulnerable to employee negligence. Whether data is stored locally or transferred via the internet, an employee’s carelessness can expose data to a data breach or leak.
DLP tools enable fintech companies to apply security policies directly to the data they need to protect by using predefined profiles for sensitive data such as PII, intellectual property, or source code, as well as customized definitions. DLP tools also help identify sensitive data in hundreds of file types using contextual scanning and content inspection, monitor its movements, prevent its transfer through unauthorized channels, and log and report any attempts of transfer.
2. Protect all operating systems: Many tech companies run a cross-platform mixed environment not only for personal reasons but also because they frequently develop applications and solutions that require multiple operating systems to run. This means that after implementing remote work plans, businesses must ensure that devices running on all operating systems are connected and protected.
VPNs, DLP solutions, and videoconferencing tools must all work across all operating systems or risk leaving critical personnel outside the company network with a vulnerable system waiting to be exploited.
3. Undertrained workforce: On a regular basis, new people join the organization and begin working on the product right away. They don’t spend enough time learning the organization’s security policies and procedures. As a result, there is a greater likelihood that security policy will not be followed, raising the possibility of a security breach.
Fintech companies must ensure that new hires are thoroughly trained on security procedures and policies. All employees should receive regular security training, it should be mandatory. They must understand the benefits of security rules and procedures as well as the repercussions of them when they are not followed.
4. Disregarding shadow IT: Whether aware of it or not, most companies suffer from shadow IT. From popular messaging apps to co-working spaces in the cloud, employees eagerly adopt new methods that will help them perform their tasks faster and more efficiently, oftentimes neglecting or, in some cases, consciously circumventing data protection measures.
Many companies block the installation of new programs on endpoints, or the use of specific websites deemed insecure, but many times, they fail to catch them all. Employees prefer to ignore data protection measures if there are tools available that will lighten their workload. This can have disastrous unintended consequences: sensitive data can be stolen by third parties, made public, or fall into the hands of unauthorized individuals, all major breaches of data protection regulations.
5. Not making the most of security solutions: Good security represents an investment for every company, which is why they should make the most of what it has to offer. But when it comes to DLP solutions, for example, organizations that implement them company-wide sometimes fail to use their full capabilities. They do not define sensitive data clearly or misconfigure levels of authorization and exceptions, making it hard for DLP tools to be as effective as they can be.
[This article is authored by Filip Cotfas, Channel Manager at CoSoSys. The views expressed are solely of the author.]