The success of companies in the 21st-century depends on the ability to mitigate data breaches, proactively tend to privacy risks, and manage both compliance and cybersecurity fundamentals that secure customer data. Companies that offer financial services handle large amounts of highly sensitive financial and personal information, making them more vulnerable to cyberattacks. The push for digitalization brought about by COVID-19 has taken everything from payments to banking; it is more important than ever for companies to keep their data safe. According to the AV-TEST GmbH, an Independent IT-Security Institute in Germany, there were 1254 million malware attacks on FinTech companies in 2021. Similarly, another report by VMware Carbon Black notes a 238% growth in the number of cyberattacks during the pandemic. These statistics are frightening. However, there are some basic measures that companies can take to protect themselves.
Alignment with National/International Standards
Companies must comply with financial service industry regulations depending on their location and target market. Compliance with standard regulations improves credibility and prevents penalties. These compliance policies differ from country to country. For example, the US Fair Credit Reporting Act ensures fairness, accuracy, and customer data privacy. Compliance with such policies makes the company more trustworthy, thus, increasing the customer base and profits.
The company should educate and train its employees on the repercussions of data breaches and cyberattacks. Technically educated employees watch for phishing attempts and emails that could risk their organization’s security—cloud-native platforms prevent employees from unauthorized access and sharing sensitive data. Hackers usually rely on ignorance and user error to leverage cyber attacks, but well-trained employees could minimize this risk. If the employees are familiar with the company's privacy and data security policies, they have a higher tendency to act safely and cautiously while accessing company systems.
Penetration testing or ethical hacking refers to a simulated cyber attack on your security systems to test for its vulnerabilities or weaknesses. In this test, the professional acts as a hacker to gain access to your systems. Penetration testing can reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s system, thereby conducting a full risk assessment. Dedicated teams can directly target detected weaknesses of the system and take appropriate measures to eliminate or reduce these vulnerabilities.
Access Management Systems
Access Management processes aim to provide system access to authorized users and restrict access for unauthorized users. They monitor which users have the permission to access what kind of files, systems, and services. An efficient access management system mitigates the risk of internal security threats and maintains a safe gateway to sensitive data. It ensures that employees only have access to the information required to perform their jobs. Access management systems can also automate access removal upon task completion so that there is no breach of data.
Basic Protection Controls
Basic protection control measures include defining the company's most sensitive digital assets, privacy, and security policies to meet national/international compliance principles. The company should also take active steps to protect these assets, like providing end-to-end encryption, firewalls, and multi-factor authentication. Since FinTech companies handle sensitive personal and financial information of the customers, these features must be mandatory.
Business Continuity Management Systems
Business Continuity Management measures the capacity of a company to function normally, maintain business operations and continuously deliver its product even after any disruptive incident. A business continuity management policy should integrate the principles of disaster recovery, business recovery, crisis management, incident management, emergency management, and contingency planning.
How Trust Science is Successfully Overcoming Modern Data Security Challenges
Trust Science®, a FinTech SaaS delivering Credit Bureau 2.0®/Credit Bureau +™, complies with the Personal Documents Protection and Electronic Documents Act which governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information in commercial businesses. It is also compliant with the Credit Reporting Agencies’ legislation in the US and Canada and is working towards ISO 27001 certification to ensure best business practices.
To prevent data breaches, Trust Science® employs a Cyber Security team that specifically focuses on application, network, and system security. It also conducts background checks of all new hires to ensure credibility. Non-disclosure agreements and proper training ensure that staff is well versed in the organization’s security policies. These stringent measures keep sensitive data safe, making it one of the most reliable companies in the FinTech sector. Trusted third-party vendors regularly scan all networks (including test and production environment) to ensure that the company’s systems are robust and non-penetrable. It also maintains a documented vulnerability management program which includes periodic scans, identification, and remediation of security vulnerabilities on applications and infrastructure.
For data protection, Trust Science® protects confidentiality, availability, and accountability in access to assets while they are in the transition stage between storage and transmission. Its well-administered Asset Management policy includes identification, classification, retention, and disposal of information and assets. All data is encrypted using secure TLS cryptographic protocols. In case of a breach, all affected parties are directly notified to take appropriate steps. The resources of the company are only accessible through secure connectivity and require multi-factor authentication. It reviews access permissions quarterly; access is restricted to a need-to-know basis and revoked upon employees’ termination. This allows smooth access and maximum security of critical data. Services offered by Trust Science® are hosted from enterprise-class data centers managed by public cloud providers. It provides efficient failover resilient systems that maximize the availability of systems. With techniques such as data replication, Trust Science® ensures a speedy recovery and a continual delivery of services even during times of external disruption.
It is an inspiring and challenging time for FinTech companies, given the evolution of digital technologies; however, it comes with increased risks of cyber attacks and breaches. An investment in security measures will keep your company safe, productive and credible. Trust Science® is committed to protecting the data of its customers through the above-mentioned powerful features. To learn more about how Trust Science’s secure systems and the measures we have taken to alleviate potential risks and threats, visit us at www.TrustScience.com.