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Financial services firms and innovation:Howthinking smallcan pay off

By Andy Mather, European Financial Services Industry Specialist, Telstra

There’s no question that financial services players understand the need to innovate, with recent research showing that innovation ranks among their senior executives’ top priorities.The problem, however, is that most remain cautious about what to do – for example, in not introducing new ways of working despite having assigned executive responsibility and allocated budget for fostering innovation.

It turns out that “ways of working” is precisely where the focus needs to be, based on the particular nature of banking technology. To understand why, we need to start by looking at the challenges that financial services providers face when it comes to moving their business forward.

Put simply, banks have a huge amount of legacy issues to deal with. Some of this may be due to organic growth. Or it could be the result of various acquisitions over the years, each one adding new technological complications (which ultimately become yet more legacy). Or it could stem from a general reluctance to decommission old technology in a timely way, a reluctance borne out of fear of unexpected consequences.

All of that can lead firms to feel that if they are going to make a change, it has to be big. Yet large-scale overhauls – big bang projects – are not what innovation is about. Innovation is about constant improvement.

Taking a new approach

In such an environment, how can firms successfully innovate? The first thing they need to do is think small.

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The future of mobile security in banking

By Michael Flossman, Security Researcher at Lookout

What security challenges will the banking industry face over the next few years?

The use of mobile in all aspects of life is growing, from the near daily use of banking apps through to accessing work remotely, so it’s become a viable, and currently very profitable, channel that hackers can target in order to steal sensitive data. Over the last several years we have seen threat actors expand their traditionally desktop focussed arsenals to now include a mobile component. This was the case with the actors behind the successful SpyEye and Zeus desktop families who released Spitmo and Zitmo respectively. It isn’t just the established cybercriminal gangs that are breaking into the mobile space, we’re also seeing a number of new players deploy mobile banking trojans like BancaMarStealer / Marcher, Cron, and MazarBot. Leaked source code for an earlier banking trojan known as GMBot has meant that the barrier to entry for threat actors looking to have a mobile capability is quite low.

It’s now more critical than ever that banks upgrade their cybersecurity measures to include mobile, so end users are protected regardless of the channel they use to bank with.

How do these attacks work?

It tricks the user by introducing an overlay, essentially a fake login page which looks identical to what a user would see when browsing to the…

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