8 Reasons to Implement an MFT Strategy

8 Reasons to Implement an MFT Strategy

MFT strategy

Today’s businesses need to adhere to various security standards (e.g., PCI DSS, HIPAA, the GDPR) not only to prevent the high costs associated with data breaches but also to avoid hefty penalties.

However, ensuring the security of data transferred among employees, partners, vendors, and customers is becoming increasingly challenging due to the large amount of data that organizations need to handle and protect. One wrong step, such as lack of file encryption in just one workflow, could cost you dearly.

Thankfully, you can enhance the safety of your file transfer processes by using proven technologies, such as managed file transfer (MFT) software, without straining your IT resources or interrupting current business processes.

What’s Managed File Transfer (MFT)?

MFT solutions are designed to help organizations reduce the complexity of and costs associated with file transfer. They help improve cybersecurity by replacing vulnerable legacy file transfer protocols, such as FTP.

An MFT software solution is an all-in-one technology that automates and encrypts file transfers.

The administrator of the file transfer can access the program via a centralized dashboard from anywhere and perform tasks needed. The tasks can include:

  • Sending encrypted files.
  • Receiving and decrypting sensitive documents.
  • Scheduling batch file transfers.
  • Sharing information with partners via external servers or cloud-computing platforms.
  • Reviewing audit logs.
  • Generating audit reports for compliance.

Using an MFT solution, you can automate workflows, increase efficiency, minimize manual file transfer, and reduce the need for custom scripting.

8 Reasons for Implementing an MFT Strategy

There are many reasons why organizations should implement an MFT strategy to improve the safety and efficiency of their file transfer processes:

1. MFT Helps Ensure Compliance with Data Security Regulations.

An MFT software offers a high level of security to protect critical data, such as personally identifiable information (PII) in healthcare or credit card payment information in banking.

It helps you effectively eliminate many vulnerabilities from your business communication processes. This will help you not only prevent costly data breaches but also avoid fines associated with the violation of stringent industry regulations.

Most MFT solutions are compliant with common requirements (e.g. PCI DSS, HIPAA, HITECH, and the GDPR.) You can use various features, such as auditing, reporting, role-based access, centralized security controls, key management, encryption, and secure protocols to protect sensitive information.

2. MFT Provides an Audit Log for Your File Transfer Activities.

There are many situations in which you need to audit your file transfers. For example, a business partner requests an overview of the month’s transfer activities, you need to troubleshoot a failed file transfer, or you need to launch an investigation for a data breach.

MFT software stores detailed audit records for all file transfer activities and some also offer the capability to search the audit log for specific terms, users, or date ranges. You can get details about the transfer workflows and investigate whether each step succeeded or failed.

3. MFT Enhances Security Without the Hassle.

If you have been using FTP for file transfer, it’s time for an upgrade. FTP is an old technology that doesn’t meet modern security standards and fails to protect files whether they’re sent through private or public networks.

You should also consider upgrading to MFT software if you have been using homegrown solutions, which often have many security gaps and vulnerabilities that can easily be exploited by hackers. Not to mention, their maintenance is often time-consuming and labor-intensive.

With an MFT solution, you don’t have to worry about the risk, maintenance, and programming needed to set up a file transfer protocol. The software is easy to use and you can schedule batch transfers to improve efficiency. Secure data exchange methods such as SFTP, FTPS, and HTTPS help ensure that all the files are properly encrypted.

4. MFT Minimizes the Impact of IT Downtime.

Did you know that system downtime costs organizations an average of $100,000 an hour? While not all downtime is preventable, you can mitigate its impact on your organization by making sure that critical file transfer systems and servers are available to minimize delays.

A robust MFT solution offers active-passive and active-active (i.e. clustering) methods to help keep your processes running even if you encounter other IT issues. For example, clustering ensures the highest availability by running multiple servers concurrently so your communications won’t be disrupted if one server goes down.

5. MFT Helps You Comply with Government Requirements.

If your organization services government agencies, you’re required to follow special reporting and encryption requirements issued by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These requirements are complex so it’s very challenging and inefficient to build a homegrown solution that meets all the criteria.

On the other hand, an MFT solution can fulfill various NIST requirements with FIPS 140-2 compliant AES and Triple DES encryption algorithms, audit logs and reports, secure authentication and user controls, etc. As such, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when you get a government contract.

6. MFT Facilitates Secure File Exchange in the Cloud.

As more businesses are migrating to cloud computing, you’ll inevitably need to exchange files in the cloud — whether within the organization or among partners, vendors, and customers.

However, it’s often challenging to maintain proper cybersecurity practices in these situations. For example, how can you be certain that it’s safe to store sensitive files on a third-party cloud?

Advanced MTF solutions allow organizations to streamline and automate their cloud file transfers to platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services with strong encryption, whether the files are at rest or in transit.

7. MFT Streamlines Workflows with Third-party Integrations and Automation.

Some MTF applications also offer integrations with popular cloud-based services such as Box, Salesforce, and Google Drive. This helps promote the movement of data between on-premise environments and a variety of cloud applications.

The automation allows you to streamline workflows, increase efficiency, and minimize errors or bottlenecks caused by manual processes. Meanwhile, you can continue to use the many cloud-based productivity tools and add an extra layer of security without interrupting your current business processes.

8. MFT Reduces Your IT Costs.

Devising your own file transfer solution while keeping up with the many security standards can be very expensive. Not only do you need to create custom scripts and single-function tools but you also have to invest in IT resources for ongoing maintenance and upgrade so the program meets the latest cybersecurity protocols.

An MFT solution eliminates many manual processes and therefore overhead costs associated with IT maintenance. Not to mention, the many automation features also allow you to increase efficiency and cut down on time-consuming manual tasks that can be costly in the long-run.

Conclusion: Improve Security and Cost-efficiency with an MFT Solution

To stay competitive and optimize profits in today’s complex business environment, you can’t afford to overlook the security and cost-efficiency of your data transfer processes.

Using an MFT solution allows you to leverage the latest cybersecurity measures to ensure the safety of your business-critical information.

MFT Guidelines helps you stay compliant with increasingly complex and stringent regulatory guidelines while streamlining the workflows so critical information can flow smoothly among various stakeholders to optimize operational efficiency.

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Role of Big Data in the Evolution of the Financial Industry

Role of Big Data in the Evolution of the Financial Industry

big data and financial

The financial industry has always been a highly competitive sector. Considering how disruptive technologies like Big Data have reached their maturation, big data can be made a beneficial part of the financial industry. Businesses can harvest big data for security, personalization, and investment decisions.

Big Data is bringing forth new datasets that can help understand customer behavior and improve the area of predictive analysis. With this data-driven approach, let’s take a look at how Big Data is transforming the financial industry.

Enhanced Product Diversity

As stated previously, Big Data is now highlighting new datasets that are a powerful medium to understand the customer psyche and accordingly offer them new and improved financial services.

For example, companies now operate fintech Robo-advisors that offer holistic advice regarding digital investments. Given that these Robo-advisors make use of Big Data to gather insight on customer spending patterns and other parameters for personalization, the advice tendered will also be extremely relevant for the customer. Similarly, other services like loan availability, customer risk analysis, etc. can be included in the list of financial products.

Market Analytics

Investors can effectively tap into the potential offered by big data to analyze market trends and make smarter investments. Several companies have cutting-edge predictive systems in place, which can not only understand large volumes of data but also interpret them to offer informed investment decisions.

With AI-powered trading, investors can increase the profitability of their investments. As a result, the area of market investments is no longer limited to veterans or seasoned investors but also extends to newbies who wish to try their hand at capitalizing on market gains.

Robust Security

In the financial industry, certain services are more vulnerable to security lapses and frauds. Thus, big data can play a vital role in plugging these gaps and keeping customers safer. Lending institutions and banks are making use of a combination of machine learning and big data (clearinghouse.org) to automate their security. Further, it keeps them two steps ahead of any miscreant who looks at exploiting security loopholes, especially in outdated systems.

Location intelligence keeps track of where the customer is using the financial service. It also monitors the kind of products or services that they normally purchase and the number of transactions per cycle. With this information, big data can monitor and highlight deviations from the regular purchase patterns to alert and protect users from fraud.

Fewer Manual Processes

Big data will usher with it the era of artificial intelligence and machine learning. As a result, manual and repetitive processes like documentation, looking up customer history, etc. can be automated through algorithms. Furthermore, it also decreases the response time while also abiding by the prevailing regulatory structure.

While cutting down manual processes does offer a customer-centric approach, it is feared that it will jeopardize the job security of individuals involved in these manual processes. This fear is exacerbated by the fact that technologies are more efficient, more accurate, and much cheaper. However, the displaced human resource can be utilized in new and diversified positions after thorough training.

Customer-Centric Perks

Personalized services are one of the key takeaways of big data-assisted financial services. On the basis of the customer’s spending habits, financial institutions can offer personalized recommendations and upsell products that will meet their needs. With this value-added approach, the companies can develop customer loyalty across all verticals and enjoy a strong consumer presence.

Accurate Risk Analysis

Previously, financial services like loans were based on one or two factors like credit score, debt-to-income ratios, etc. However, Big Data has diversified these datasets and introduced several variables that can offer a more concrete and individualistic risk assessment of the individual.

Machine learning factors in economic conditions, business capital, customer segmentation, etc. in an unbiased manner to identify risky investments or defaulters.

Key Challenges

While, on paper, Big Data may appear like the ultimate solution for all financial institutions, it does bring with it certain challenges. These obstacles may be company-specific and include:

Data Volume

Big Data is characterized by three “V”s: Volume, Velocity, and Variety. Essentially, it means that Big Data technologies handle vast quantities of data in a static and real-time environment while supporting multiple data types. Financial companies are either unable to compute such volumes of data or cannot access this from multiple channels. Moreover, data silos make it difficult to integrate all the collected Big Data.

As a result, they are unable to tap into the full potential of Big Data.

Accuracy and Quality

Diluted and inaccurate data is of no apparent use. Companies have to make use of reliable data to capitalize on the opportunity. When it comes to the financial industry, it becomes even more imperative to seek accurate and reliable data, which is a major challenge faced by several institutions.

Security and Integrity

Banking and financial institutions shall have to maintain the highest standards of safety and security when storing sensitive personal data of their customers. Any security breach or possible threat could result in a severe loss of trust. Some companies may not be prepared to offer this level of data security.

Regulations

In addition to online regulations, there are several banking regulations regarding data security, consumer privacy, reporting, and transparency. Adhering to these regulations while also keeping to digital safety can be a difficult task to balance.

Final Thoughts

In the years to come, it is clear that Big Data will revolutionize how we perceive the financial industry. Big data will give companies an insight into customer behavior and profile the individual into certain types. Resultantly, this data can be of extreme value to businesses to further their business and establish a loyal customer base.

It is only a matter of time until Big Data emerges as a second currency in the financial industry.

Image Credit: Carlos Muza; Unsplash

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75 Billion Reasons to Talk About Cybersecurity

75 Billion Reasons to Talk About Cybersecurity

cybersecurity

Recent events have reminded all of us how much we rely on smart connected devices to accomplish daily tasks, get work done, and stay in touch with our families and friends. It’s very likely that many of these experiences will remain as examples for us in the future.

It’s a good time to revisit the topic of cybersecurity. Specifically, we need to look at the current forecasts that say we will have 75 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things by 2025. The sheer numbers are beyond comprehension. We should work together to seek better standards with adequate certification schemes, including harmonized safety and security provisions to be designed directly into those devices before they arrive in markets.

Do the numbers understate the potential growth in the amount and, more importantly, the use of connected devices?

Devices that can sense, think, connect and act will enable a world to do many tasks that are anticipated.  Automation will be making everyday activities “smarter” in ways we can only now imagine. The plethora of devices will not only sense the world, but they also will physically act on the planet. Globally, we should all be safer, and all things more sustainable for individuals and businesses.

Using our devices more often for more things could also make us more vulnerable as we depend on processing and zettabytes of data utilized through increased edge computing (locally, in those devices), along with a growing reliance on the cloud. We must, therefore, step up and assume increased security measures as a core function of these smart devices.

We’ll only realize the full potential of smart, connected devices if we can trust and rely on them to be safe and secure. Here’s what it’ll take:

Shared Standards

Currently, services like payments and eGovernment rely on ecosystems that follow globally accepted and implemented security standards, which are supplemented by strong and continually updated commonly trusted certification schemes.

IoT is still in its early stages where products do not interoperate easily, and such standards and certifications are missing, but we can learn from markets with high-security standards. Another brick in the wall that’s missing is standards that entail the appropriate combination of safety and security. IoT standardization has to learn from Healthcare, Automotive, Industrial, and Critical Infrastructure standards.

The trust in future IoT is to be based on independent, economically acceptable assessments and applicable to any type of IoT vertical. NXP advocates here a certification standard called “Security Evaluation Scheme for IoT Platforms” (SESIP), grounded in the Common Criteria certification scheme for highly secure components but covering the full span of IoT devices from low-end low-resources ones to the powerful edge-computing gateways.

In addition, IoT devices will have unmanaged lifetimes. Absolute security does not exist; this implies that we need standards defining ways to recover some baseline functionality in case a system is compromised: resilience is key, and this is where safety and security meet each other. If some level of control can be regained there, is less incentive for it to be attacked again.

IoT devices will be part of large complex systems; this implies that not only devices but also system security requirements standards are to be defined as well, globally with a focus on local requirements. Mutual recognition of security standards is needed to ensure scalability in the industry.

Last but not least, in addition to security and safety, a third pillar is to be considered: privacy. IoT devices are accumulating huge amounts of personal data that needs to be protected in a secure way.

For all those reasons, governments and industry need to redouble their work to develop and embrace common security standards and certification schemes for this next phase of IoT growth. One such mechanism for this collaboration is the Charter of Trust, which NXP co-founded with Siemens and other leading technology businesses. The Charter serves as a common ground for exploring the needs for shared standards, a way to collaboratively develop them, and a platform from which companies can adopt them.

Anticipatory Development

In our era of rapid and continual change, it’s only smart to anticipate that devices will need to either accommodate multiple security requirements and adopt to new ones as they’re developed and deployed. This challenges businesses to consider how to make devices and entire solutions more addressable and flexible too, and by those changing needs.

For instance, there are currently multiple standards for vehicle-to-infrastructure communications (or “V2X”), which is core to enabling smart cars to function as part of integrated, constantly learning, and real-time networks. Add access to all of the less mission-critical functions and services, such as entertainment content and shopping, and it’s vital that designs for new vehicles take into account the likelihood that multiple standards may apply now, and perhaps change in the near future.

This means designing for multiple standards; think product labels in North America that often include descriptions in English, Spanish and French, so the same products can be marketed on shelves in different countries (and made accessible to different users). It also means focusing on the secure connectivity of those devices, not just their functional safety and security, so that devices can be updated (over-the-air, or “OTA”) when needed.

Again, to stretch the language analogy a bit more, many countries use different algorithms to implement similar methodologies to protect against the same sort of security risks (i.e., attacks can be agnostically identified and ranked by likelihood, frequency, potential impact, etc.). Anticipatory development challenges developers to see these common or shared requirements and address them.

Security by Default

Ultimately, security is not only a functional attribute of a product or network but rather an aspect of the design itself; security is something that is inherent, “built-in” versus “added on.” Security and safety are holistic system properties. A key strategy to address the emergent security challenge of 75 billion connected devices will be to continue to produce them with security by default

One way to do this is to physically insert a small component into a device that provides an identifier key and a secure execution environment. Such hard-wiring of one end is what you could call “a secure handshake” (also known as a “root of trust”) makes it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to hack or trick the device (unless an evil-doer possessed the proper identifier). It’s not a software overlay.

We possess potent tools to address the emergent cybersecurity challenge ahead of us: Pursuing shared standards, anticipating multiple requirements and changes, and building secure components into devices themselves can, when taken together, empower businesses and ultimately individuals and businesses to benefit from the immense productivity and quality of life advances that continued growth in smart, connected IoT devices will bring.

And we have at least 75 billion reasons to build a safer IoT world.

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CCPA for Marketers: What You Really Need to Know

CCPA for Marketers: What You Really Need to Know

CCPA rules

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has put restrictions and conditions on how organizations can store, process, and share consumer data in California. The privacy act has given broad rights to the consumers over their data that organizations hold. Here is CCPA for marketers and what you really need to know about it.

The CCPS allows consumers to have complete transparency and control over all types of personal data. These regulations have been especially difficult for marketing and advertising companies. Especially those businesses that rely on sharing and processing consumer information to develop an efficient marketing plan that will reach the right people.

With all these regulations in place, it begs the question. How will marketing organizations prepare marketing plans without having full control over their customers’ information?

How does CCPA impact marketers?

Whether an organization collects its consumers’ information through social media or other means such as an email survey, CCPA requires them to disclose what information is being collected and how it will be used. This requirement is known as ‘right to be informed’ under the CCPA.

CCPA gives broad rights to consumers on how businesses collect and process their data. Upon request by a consumer, a business that collects and processes data on California residents must disclose:

  • What it collects.
  • Where it collects.
  • Why it collects.
  • Whom it shared with.

CCPA gives consumers the right to opt-out of having information being sold to third-parties.

For companies that earn revenue through selling data, it will be a struggle to work around this restriction, potentially putting a dent in revenues.

CCPA has also had a substantial impact on digital advertising.

The impact on digital advertising happens because digital advertising works on the transfer of consumer data from a data broker to the advertiser. The ad-serving platform has many other layers of supported systems in between broker and advertiser — often a third-party business.

If an organization is required to comply with the CCPA, it cannot transfer this data without the consumers’ consent.

So far, it seems like the CCPA is only having a negative impact on the marketing sector as it is restricting marketers from virtually doing anything as most of their operations rely on the sharing of data.

What Marketers Need to Do to Comply?

Trying to comply with the CCPA can be difficult for the marketing sector. The process is not just a matter of applying the same rules throughout the organization in hopes of complying with the CCPA rules. Instead, there have to be different goals set at each level to ensure that compliance can be met efficiently.

At the highest level, marketers need to make it their personal responsibility to understand how personal data at their company has been used to message and serve customers. They also need to ensure their team has a clear understanding and has proper training on the law and compliance processes. Lastly, they need to make sure that these responsibilities delegate within the organization as soon as possible.

On the next level of following CCPA rules, clarify the following roles:

  • Dedicate an individual who has the responsibility of reviewing proposed regulations to understand how it impacts your business.
  • Dedicating a person who is responsible for mapping personal data and gathering notices across all internal and external systems.
  • Making sure these notices are presented to customers via the privacy policy page and “do not sell my info” links placed on the website homepages.
  • Managing and carrying out online and offline consumer rights requests.
  • Train request handlers or assist consumers in exercising their rights under CCPA.

Finally, within your marketing team, make sure if you’re providing discounts that could be perceived as an exchange for personal information, calculate the monetary value, and communicate that information in your privacy policy.

You also need to understand how the CRM and marketing systems will send messages and whether these messages comply. Finally, connect with service providers and legal teams working on vendor contracts to ensure consistency when handling the rights requests you receive.

CCPA Compliance Checklist for Marketers

To comply with the CCPA, organizations have to incorporate all the following points to wholly and efficiently comply. See how many of the following points have you checked out:

  • Update Privacy Policies

Although companies follow the strictest standards when drafting privacy policies, they need to make sure that their policies are compliant with the CCPA.

  • Create Methods of Accessibility

Establish a means for the customer to easily request data access and data deletion. This could be at minimum a toll-free number

  • Verification System

People that can verify their identification can access their information held by organizations. Verification systems will be a part of the CCPA compliance regulations

  • Data Governance

Prepare records, data maps and inventories of Californian’s personal data to fulfill any requests in an efficient and timely manner

  • Opt-Out Button

Adding in an opt-out button will help you stay compliant without the added hassle of manually updating that customer.

  • Obtain Consent from Minors

Minors under the age of 16 will not automatically consent under CCPA. Organizations need to develop a process by which they can obtain direct consent from those aged 13-16 years, or parents consent from minors under 13 years.

Conclusion

The CCPA has really made operations for the marketing sector, but these barriers bring with it opportunities as well. Organizations need to make sure that the regulations are enforced within all levels of the organization to make sure that compliance is easily achievable.

Regulations that are easily enforced means that there needs to be a proper level of training, responsibility, and tracking. As well as proper records to stay ahead of the CCPA and other global privacy regulations.

Organizations might find tracking and enforcing an added task. But in the long term, these regulations are going to be beneficial for both consumers and organizations alike. Doing the right thing is only a matter of adapting.

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Biometrics: What the Future Holds for Identity Verification

Biometrics: What the Future Holds for Identity Verification

biometrics identity verification

Back in the mid-2000s, biometric authentication came into light as the future of digital security. We all thought that fingerprint records and facial recognition were totally new. Ask any officer at your local police station — the tech industry was beginning to discover the potential of integrating these biometric identity proofing measures. Here is what the future holds for identity verification.

Tech developers rejoiced as they found ways to bring biometrics into reality.

No longer were digital fingerprint scans and photo identification checks restricted to the world of sci-fi. Unfortunately, early biometric technologies came with apparent flaws that made users quick to deem them too good to be true.

Can we stop the methods of hackers with a biometric application?

Things have changed. To keep up with the ever-evolving methods of hackers, developers have made biometric applications more sophisticated than ever before. But how well does biometric identity proofing hold up to other security measures?

Do biometrics truly keep users safe from data breaches? Is there a possibility that biometric security could replace passwords, tickets, or even government-issued identification? Let’s take a closer look at what biometrics has to offer, and what it could have in store.

Biometrics of the Past

When biometric security systems started gaining relevance in the tech market, companies all over the globe began to show interest. Businesses, both large and small, depended mainly on passwords to secure their private networks, as many still do today.

However, a weak or compromised password is all it takes to jeopardize a private digital database. Manufacturers swore by their fingerprint scanners and facial recognition software, claiming that their products were significantly better security measures.

Unfortunately for biometric developers, naysayers were determined to find cracks in this digital armor — and they did. Fingerprint scanners were proven easily dupable. Fraudsters only needed a lifted fingerprint to fool scanners into giving access to the system they guarded.

Facial recognition tools weren’t exactly fail-safe, either. Biometric authentication developers often claimed that their systems had fail-safe measures like eye movement tracking in place to distinguish the difference between a real person and a photograph. In 2009, however, security researcher Duc Nguyen was able to use a picture to bypass login for Lenovo, Asus, and Toshiba computers.

Even in recent years, there have been considerable reports of these very same weaknesses in biometric technology.

Yes, there are weaknesses, though this isn’t to suggest that biometric authentication software hasn’t changed. It has, in several ways. Facial tracking has improved, and most authentication algorithms today can differentiate between a live human face and a photograph.

Identification technology used in today’s smartphones is more straightforward than that of most third-party security platforms.

However, it’s still significantly better than any of the applications available ten years ago. Unfortunately, hacking methods have evolved at the same pace, leaving many smartphone users to face the same risk.

X-Lab, a Chinese digital security team, showcased a technique for bypassing biometric security measures on smartphones in 2019. In only 20 minutes, X-Lab researchers were able to use a specially made app, cheap hardware, as well as photographs of the fingerprints left on the phone itself to unlock it successfully.

Deepfake technology has also been a cause for concern for companies that rely on biometric security.

Although these digital masks first proved themselves too primitive of severe implications, deepfakes have become increasingly convincing — enough to trick users and biometric authentication systems alike into believing that they’re genuine.

These recent findings beg the question; have there been any improvements in biometric authentication over the past decade?

The Newest in Biometric Technology

One can’t judge the validity of biometric authentication by basing its security off of smartphone applications alone. Today’s top identity authentication services understand the challenges that face biometrics today and are more equipped to tackle them.

The most notable improvements made in the field of biometrics lay in facial recognition software.

The notion may seem ironic, seeing as the X-Lab hacking demonstration only happened less than a year ago. But it is true — manufacturers are now integrating advanced learning algorithms into their facial recognition technology.

These algorithms ensure an authorized user’s presence by using 3D analytics to determine whether the user is actually present at the moment of authentication. These recognition algorithms can even read a user’s facial expressions and detect emotions.

Identity proofing providers now know that biometric identity verification must be multi-factored to be reliable.

In the past, manufacturers focused mainly on identifying users by their physical traits; fingerprints, facial recognition, and the like. With the right algorithm, these biological markers can still provide the security needed to ensure safe transactions. But as with all security systems, contingencies must be placed.

Today, identity proofing services use a combination of physical trait analyses, behavioral measurements (i.e., digital signatures and voice recognition), and issued ID checks to ensure that the user is who they say they are. Other commonly integrated methods include knowledge-based authentication, which may involve giving a password or answering a security question.

What about the sophisticated deepfake algorithms?

Multi-factored biometric authentications are pass or fail. A user must pass every verification factor. One slip will flag the security service of a possible hack attempt. Most advanced facial recognition software is typically able to spot whether a person is using a deepfake or not.

More advanced recognition technologies integrate consent verification, in which a user must show their face on camera and hold up an ID document or handwritten note, as per the system’s instructions. Should a sophisticated deepfake bypass the facial authentication process, the user would then need to provide enough additional information to bypass the other security factors.

If a hacker uses a deepfake to infiltrate their targeted network, blockchain is a significant line of defence. Companies like Eristica use blockchain to record every user transaction made on their mobile phone app. Eristica’s algorithm scans through the data on the chain to find any transactional discrepancies that signal fraudulent behavior.

The Future of Biometrics

Despite its rocky beginnings, biometric technology has become a highly favored security measure among today’s top companies and organizations. Users can now utilize several different biometric measures, including retinal scanning and voice recognition.

In addition to the already popular fingerprint and face recognition technologies. Increased demand for biometric security ensures that it isn’t going anywhere, any time soon. According to a recent forecast report by the Biometric System Market, biometrics is on track to grow into an industry worth $65.3 billion by 2024.

Profit outlook is positive, but the question on most tech professionals’ minds is whether the technology will continue to improve. Surely it will — it has to if biometric security providers keep up with the ever-evolving data-breaching methods companies face. But how?

Experts see endless possibilities for biometric technology. Soon, we could see biometrics replacing government-issued identification. Paper documents and ID cards are easily forgeable, after all. Anyone could gain access to a fake driver’s license, or even a phony passport. On the other hand, biometric technology only seems to become more secure as new developments arise.

One day soon, we might not need ID to apply for a loan, rent a car, access our bank accounts, or even fly a plane.

We’re a long way from biometric authentication for international travel. The world isn’t nearly globalized enough for that just yet. But a thumbprint and a facial scan might be all you need to board a domestic flight in the next few years. It may seem far fetched, but countries around the world are already experimenting with biometric facial recognition to provide their citizens with a more personalized security approach.

For example, Singapore is planning to replace passwords and a government-issued identification with biometrics for several different processes. Singaporeans will be able to use a facial recognition app, complete with anti-spoofing safeguards, to authenticate their identities.

With this technology, Singaporeans will be able to provide identification to rent hotel rooms, enter commercial buildings, and make sizeable monetary transactions, among other things.

Singapore may be among the first countries in the world to embrace biometric technology nationally, but they won’t soon be the last. People around the world have voiced a desire for their governments to implement biometric authentication. According to a 2017 study conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 82% of surveyed travelers stated that they would prefer to use a digital passport to travel.

The report also shows that travelers want a faster, more automated airport experience and are willing to use biometric identification to speed up their travel. In response to these critiques, over 63% of airlines included in the survey claim they are planning to invest in biometric technology before the end of 2020.

Biometrics have come a long way, and they still have farther to go — but they’ve more than proven their worth as an authentication measure that is as convenient as it is fast.

More popular applications currently lie within the realms of personal device security and online transactions. However, we could soon see our world leaders use biometrics to help us all stay a whole lot safer and lift globalization to new heights.

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Developing a Secure FinTech App – Best Practice for 2020

Developing a Secure FinTech App – Best Practice for 2020

develop secure fintech app

Over the years, we have seen a large increase in the usage of technology in finance and financial transactions. The introduction of financial applications has ensured that the ease of use and effectiveness, which has been on a constant rise over the decade, is made possible. Here is developing a secure FinTech app — the best practices for 2020.

End users can now make financial transactions through a snap of a finger through tech ease of access. But, we have to be wise in how we use the new FinTech apps.

With the ease of apps comes the danger of financial security, which is largely due to sensitive personal and business data shared on financial platforms. Care must be taken or it may result in major vulnerabilities such as data leakages and breaches.

Recent studies reveal that FinTech startups, about 98% are vulnerable to cyber attacks, risk of theft, and phishing. Considering that the finance industry is one that should be 100% secure in the protection of client data, it begs a question on aspects to consider while developing a FinTech app to make it more secure, while performing other functions as required.

We need to look into the possible ways of developing a finance app — keeping in mind that the security of data is paramount. Many companies forget security in their rush to get an app to market.

Integral parts of creating secure FinTech Applications.

With the focus on finding a solution to the vulnerabilities associated with developing a fintech app, this is some of the best practices on how to secure a financial app.

Establish infrastructural security.

It is without a doubt now that a responsible and trustworthy finance firm should consider establishing a secure infrastructure. Irrespective of either going for a private or public cloud storage system, it is imperative to make sure that cloud vendors of choice are security conscious and aligns with the modern data security standards.

Establish a secure application logic.

It’s simple, it is just making sure that while developing each stage of the app, security should be of conscious. In every step of the app usage, there should be a feeling of security to it. Questions like what types of data should be collected and safely secured, the passcode, and all other necessary info should be called to mind, not forgetting how best to monitor and secure the data collected.

Ensure to write secure code.

While it is important that your FinTech app is cross-platform responsive, it’s essential to also develop an algorithm that allows for easy detection of flaws in case of attacks or a breach. It is advisable to implement the inclusion of input validation and reviewing of data received in the app, while keeping a vivid eye on granting external access, defining clear access rules, and taking all adequate measures to secure appropriate data.

Run an App Test.

It’s never enough, take the time to test that app all over. Through all the processes and steps, perform effective penetration tests, adhere to the standard testing process for FinTech firms, and if necessary, hire professional testers to establish efficient attack resistant code.

Ensure API and Web-Server Security.

APIs, as well as web-servers, are usually run on mobile devices, and this makes it a target; hence the sensitivity in its security.

Encrypt Data.

Considering that all info received on the app is highly classified and important to your end-users, it’s very necessary that you consider encrypting all the data collected on your FinTech app. You can introduce various encryption algorithms like AES which is regarded as the safest.

Initiate a Payment Blocking Feature.

To remain secure, one of the best ways to hinder fraudulent activities on the app is to initiate a payment blocking feature in cases of suspicious activities. This will help to ensure the immediate block of suspicious payment, say a large amount of money transfer, or an unusual location transaction.

Conclusion

Developing a secure FinTech app is a lot of work. It wouldn’t be FinTech if it’s not secure after all. It’s imperative to make sure of testing the app through this procedure, and if necessary, hire professional hands to help with the process.

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