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Fintech Cybersecurity Threats

Threats to Fintech Cybersecurity and How to Prevent Them
New cybersecurity concerns surface as financial expertise, or “fintech,” continues to revolutionise the financial trade. Cybercriminals are always coming up with new ways to get inside systems and access sensitive financial information. We’ll discuss extreme financial cybersecurity dangers in this post, along with ways to protect your business and yourself from them.

Social engineering attacks
Social engineering attacks are a common cybersecurity risk for finance companies. Social engineering is the practice of coercing someone into divulging private information or taking acts that could jeopardise their safety. This could take many different forms, similar to baiting, pretexting, and phishing.

Phishing is the practice of sending phoney emails or communications that appear to be from reputable sources, such as banks or other financial institutions. The idea is to trick the recipient into divulging personal information, such as bank card numbers or login credentials. Phishing attacks generally make use of cybercriminals who have acquired access to an organization’s email system and send messages that appear to be from someone in the company.

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Pretexting is a method used in social engineering that involves creating a fictitious scenario or pretext in order to obtain sensitive information. For example, a cybercriminal might pose as a customer service agent and ask for personal information from the client, such as their account number or password. Baiting is the practice of providing something valuable in return for personal information, such as a reward card or freebie. That is especially useful in the fintech industry, where customers are constantly looking for ways to save money or get rewards.

It is imperative that employees and clients receive training regarding the techniques employed by cybercriminals in order to protect themselves against social engineering attacks. Regular training sessions can help employees recognise phishing emails and other bogus communications. It’s also a good idea to utilise encryption and two-factor authentication to protect sensitive data.

Attacks by Malware and Ransomware
Attacks using malware and ransomware pose a further pervasive risk to finance companies. Malware is software designed to harm, interfere with, or gain unauthorised access to a computer system. Malware known as ransomware encrypts a victim’s data and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key. Because fintech companies frequently store large amounts of sensitive information, including customer financial data, they are highly vulnerable to ransomware attacks.

It could be difficult to obtain accurate information following a ransomware attack without having to pay the very expensive ransom. To protect against ransomware and malware attacks, it’s critical to keep antivirus software up to date and use it often. Having regular backups might also lessen the impact of a ransomware attack.

Insider Dangers
For financial expertise companies, insider threats are a major cybersecurity risk. Insider risks include employees who intentionally steal data, employees who unintentionally reveal sensitive information, and employees who are duped into providing sensitive information. To protect against insider threats, a comprehensive cybersecurity coverage must be in place.

This policy should include regular employee training sessions, background checks on brand-new workers, and stringent entrance controls. Keeping an eye on employee behaviour to identify any questionable behaviour is also a smart idea.

Risks to Third Parties
Another major cybersecurity threat for financial companies is that of third parties. Risks associated with a breach or other safety problem that can be linked to a third-party supplier or partner are known as third-party risks.
Thoroughly check suppliers and partners before doing business with them to guard against risks posed by third parties. This could involve reviewing their security rules and procedures as well as conducting background checks. Cybersecurity requirements ought to be included in contracts with outside companies. To make sure they’re fulfilling these standards, businesses should periodically check their security posture. For fintech organisations, putting in place a cybersecurity strategy is an effective method to defend against cyberattacks.
Frameworks for Cybersecurity in Fintechs
A collection of best practices and recommendations for handling cybersecurity threats is known as a cybersecurity framework. Three well-known frameworks include the ISO 27001, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework. Fintech organisations can benefit from a cybersecurity framework by using it to identify and mitigate risks, put security controls in place, and create incident response plans. Selecting a framework that fits your organization’s objectives and requirements is crucial.

Phishing and identity theft: Since attempted and real account takeover rates are still rather high, identity theft is still a moderate danger that fintechs should address. In order to obtain access to a person’s private—and occasionally sensitive—data and steal their money, hackers either steal or hack the account holder’s login credentials and assume their identity. Usually, to do that, API attacks that aim to compromise auth tokens are used. Therefore, a robust authentication procedure becomes crucial to any fintech company’s security protocol. Regarding phishing assaults, phishing emails have developed to the point that they are nearly identical to official emails from institutions. Additionally, identity theft is quite likely to occur if hackers obtain access to the users’ system.

Data Breaches: Customers of fintech companies provide them with a lot of data, both financial and personal. Details about credit cards, account numbers, and even responses to security questions. Because hackers can use or sell their databases, they become a true honeypot for hackers. Malware and phishing attacks are the typical go-to tactics for doing this. Once more, API endpoints are the target, thus it’s critical to examine each result for signs of API abuse.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks: To put it simply, a DDoS attack is when hackers attempt to send an excessive amount of traffic to a website or application. They act in this way because it’s how they like to crash things. They also hope to force a security breach by crashing the app. Fintechs are particularly vulnerable to DDoS assaults since many APIs are simply lacking rate-limiters. By limiting the quantity or frequency of user or IP requests, rate limiters can prevent distributed denial of service attacks. Here, the goal is to confuse APIs by feeding them erroneous or unexpected information at random, which will help identify crashes, failures, and memory leaks.

Ransomware and social engineering are only two of the cybersecurity risks that fintech organisations are more vulnerable to. It’s critical to build robust access controls, maintain software updates, teach staff members and clients about cybersecurity best practices, and manage risks via a cybersecurity framework in order to counter these attacks.

By implementing these measures, fintech companies can contribute to the protection of their stakeholders’ confidence and guarantee the security of the financial data of their clients. Fintech businesses should also continue to be watchful and vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity. To find potential vulnerabilities, they should periodically do penetration tests and vulnerability scans.

Having an incident response strategy in place that specifies what to do in the event of a cybersecurity problem is also crucial. Cybersecurity should be given top priority by fintech companies when choosing partners and vendors. This entails vetting suppliers carefully, checking their security procedures, and putting cybersecurity clauses in contracts.

Finally, the financial industry is seriously threatened by cybersecurity risks related to fintech. Fintech businesses that use best practices and a thorough cybersecurity strategy may fend off these attacks and keep the confidence of their stakeholders and consumers. In the battle against cybercrime, it is critical to stay watchful and aggressive as the fintech sector develops and advances.

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