Fintech Security: Considering Authentication
Information Security Analyst at Swift Technology, reveals the current challenges of Fintech Security; Considering Authentication.
It is well known that we have entered the era of the digital first. Pandemics accelerated the change significantly. Organizations and banks are considering the fact that digital applications are now a hot cake and consumers’ needs. Consumers visit the app store or play store and decide from whom and from which bank to buy based on the best app ratings.
With this in mind, digital-first is not only the most important channel today. But it must also be very secure from a trusted and transparent point of view of the connection experience. Which is often complicated by one-time passwords and other times- use authentication methods.
Financial technology or “Fintech” is the latest and greatest in the financial services industry, including banking, insurance, and payments. Today millions of people around the world use different applications related to their finances.
Fintech industries need to consider how their products and services can be digital. And respond to the behavior of their customers online, especially when it comes to protecting them when interacting online.
Fintech Security System Vulnerability
Financial institutions have had to redesign their services and business models over and over for centuries to respond to technological and cultural changes.
However, as a result, the presence of legacy systems can be a weakness for these institutions. And today, these legacy systems are potentially vulnerable to fraudsters. Older technologies often do not have the most robust authentication method.
As fintech becomes more common, how can organizations ensure they are identifying and managing the associated risks?
Financial services institutions’ failure to consider a digital-first approach can have immense implications for the safety of customers. For example, only digitized authentication methods, such as one-time passwords, are particularly vulnerable to criminal misuse.
Financial institutions that rely on digital versions of these outdated processes are driving fraud and fraud growth by creating opportunities for cyber attackers. Therefore, the challenge was to evolve to meet customer expectations and service requirements with a top-notch security system.
Implementing the Right Technology for Security
Financial institutions need the right technology to be digital-first. The method of validating and authenticating a user must include technology that seamlessly integrates into the user journey without adding unnecessary friction.
Let’s take a look at some of the best practices for building secure FinTech solutions.
1. Data encryption
Encryption and tokenization are incredibly effective financial security solutions. Encryption refers to encoding information into a code that requires special keys to convert it into a readable format.
However, you can protect critical data with complex encryption algorithms, such as:
- RSA. A highly secure asymmetric algorithm with public encryption and private encryption key.
- Twofish. A freeware algorithm that encrypts data into 128-bit blocks.
- 3DES. The preferred encryption method for encrypting credit card PINs. Triple DES divides data into 64-bit blocks and ciphers each one three times.
- AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). is used in order to protect data against unauthorized access and to encrypt.
Above all, Tokenization is the process of replacing sensitive data with a generated number (token). You can decrypt the original information into a readable format by using unique databases (token vaults).
2. User Authentication/Identification Mechanism
Cookie-Based Authentication: based on unique cookies generated by web apps, Less secured
Single Factor Authentication: based on username and password, or employee code and Password
Multi-factor Authentication: based on two or more authenticating factors, password along with OTP pins or password along with security codes
Token-based Authentication : based on web tokens such as JWT (JSON Web token) having a specific expiry time period.
Biometric Authentication: based on biometrics such as fingerprint, retina scan mostly on mobile platform
3. Secure application logic
A strict password policy is very important for FinTech security. But that’s not enough to protect your application from targeted attacks.
You should implement precise authentication technologies, such as:
- One-Time Password (OTP) system.
- Mandatory password change every 90 Days
- Monitoring and tracking logins.
- Set of alphanumeric and strong passwords which should be under password policy.
- Role-Based Access Control
While there exist many methods to safeguard financial transactions, security is, however, not a one-off exercise. It must become a continuous process in the business, starting from analyzing requirements through deployment and beyond into operations.
So, when a holistic approach is considered that includes not only technology but also product design and operations. In conclusion, the fintech industry is secured with all those levels of security.
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