Connect with us

Technology

ARE WE SAFE TO BANK ON BIOMETRICS?

Published

on

ARE WE SAFE TO BANK ON BIOMETRICS?

Paul Dignan, Global Technical Account Manager, F5 Networks 

For financial institutions, the primary goal of digitisation is making banking simpler and more intuitive for customers. Biometric identification has huge potential, offering convenience, simplifying password management and providing a frictionless authentication process. However, combining the desire for ease of use with the need to improve security is a difficult balancing act. With biometrics in banking rapidly gaining momentum, it is equally becoming an area of great interest for cybercriminals, meaning the security of the apps and systems that support these mechanisms is more critical than ever.

Biometrics offer an exciting new frontier in security, with the global biometric system market expected to reach an estimated $32.4 billion by 2022. From TouchID to iris scanning, and facial to voice recognition technology, consumer demand for biometric authentication is increasing, with research from Mastercard and Oxford University showing banks and their customers favour the use of biometrics in consumer financial services.

Many financial institutions have already put the technology to use. Wells Fargo began offering revolutionary eye-recognition technology as a security measure for corporate customers in 2016, and financial services company USAA has been offering users the option to log in using face and voice recognition technology since the beginning of 2015. Voice recognition technology has also been employed by Citi, Barclays and HSBC to verify customer identity when phoning a customer service line and Santander has started trialling a voice-based chat in their standalone app, SmartBank.

Is biometrics a fool proof way to keep hackers at bay?

Despite their potential, biometric-based authentication is not failsafe and poses its own security challenges. The unique nature of biometric verification, and the fact that the digitised record is stored and encrypted locally in a secure portion of your device, does make the data better protected than traditional verification methods. However, the risks surrounding this type of data are greater. Unique, permanent biological identifiers can’t be changed or replaced in the event of a breach, so they are very dangerous if they end up in the wrong hands.

The risk of a criminal stealing your eyeball (à la Tom Cruise in Minority Report) is mere science fiction fantasy; the real risk is the chance that a hacker could gain access to the digitised record of biometric data. The National Fraud Authority estimates that £3.3 billion is currently lost through identity crimes each year. Imagine how this could increase if hackers could access biometric data.

What’s the key to protecting biometric credentials? 

Although biometrics offer an extremely strong alternative to traditional authentication methods, such as passwords and PINs, there is no such thing as 100 percent security, but having multiple gatekeepers in place can fortify the security of apps and systems. The more different proofs of identity required through separate routes, the more difficult it becomes for a cybercriminal to steal a consumer’s identity or to impersonate them.

As technologies progress, machine learning offers the potential to help banks authenticate users based on multiple assessments, including behaviour, appearance, voice and even the speed at which they type. With such capabilities, a user’s device can constantly calculate a trust score that the user is who they claim to be. According to Deloitte, together these factors are 10 times safer than fingerprints and 100 times safer than four-digit PINs.

Furthermore, solutions are being developed to solve the issue of biometric records being re-used when stolen. For example, a new approach is to split the biometric information between the user’s device and the data centre storage, meaning that if one is compromised, the hacker will not have all the information needed to gain verification.

How will biometric security continue to evolve?

New techniques are emerging that remedy some of the typical challenges associated with biometric solutions, including a lack of capability on the user device and verification failure (facial recognition is prone to problems with lighting conditions). Regardless of the challenges, biometric technology provides organisations with another layer of defence against cyber criminals while simultaneously streamlining the customer experience. This has been successfully adopted by many financial institutions, with great promise to further transform digital banking.

As our lives move progressively online, the level of personal data stored by organisations, the stakes are becoming higher for businesses to ensure consumers’ data is fully protected. At the same time, lucrative areas, such as digital banking, are at the top of cybercriminals target lists. Even with the higher level of security that biometrics promise, having multiple gatekeepers in place is the only way to guarantee the highest level of security.

Technology

Putting data protection back on the financial agenda

Published

on

Putting data protection back on the financial agenda 1

By Wim Stoop, CDP Customer and Product Director, Cloudera

Despite the wave of changes that Brexit has brought financial organisations, from the end of ‘passporting’ to uncertainty over the longer-term equivalence rules, one thing has remained a constant — data privacy regulations are a core responsibility to protect sensitive data and mitigate data breaches. From PSD2 to GDPR, financial institutions need to ensure they are still processing and transferring data in accordance with the industry’s stringent rules and regulations. If not, they risk fines of up to £17.5 million or 4% of their company’s annual global turnover.

As the stakes get higher, the amount of data which financial enterprises are having to deal with is on the rise too. In fact, research by IDC estimated that businesses created and captured 6.4 zettabytes of new data last year alone. This increase in data production has linked to the pandemic and the move to remote working. Replacing face-to-face interactions with online communications has meant that financial businesses suddenly had to cope with a larger amount of data flowing through their networks. In addition, employees working from home are increasingly doing so on potentially unsecured devices, outside of the corporate network, risking exposure and data breaches according to numerous cybersecurity reports.

With an extensive stock of sensitive customer data and so many regulations to keep on top of, remaining compliant can feel overwhelming for financial organisations. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Today we often see businesses trying to retrofit data protection strategies, or take a reactive approach to external forces. Instead, they should be taking a proactive stance on data management. In doing so, security becomes a natural side-effect and financial companies can operate with the assurance that no matter what new regulations come into play, they are compliant. The question is, how to achieve this?

Taking a proactive approach to data privacy

To remain compliant, financial institutions need to get on top of their data. When data is sat in siloes, on legacy systems, it’s inaccessible to all and it becomes a challenge to identify what is sensitive and what isn’t. Poorly managed data can’t be protected and the risk of data breaches increases. By contrast, when properly controlled and stored, it becomes easy to apply data security rules.

From customer names and contact details to transaction records and PINs, financial organisations hold a lot of personal and financial data on customers. However, the trick is understanding that all data holds varying degrees of sensitivity and thus, needs to be managed accordingly. For instance, a customer’s bank account details are more sensitive, compared to their basic personal data, such as name and address, which are usually publicly accessible. By proactively identifying, prioritising and classifying data by its degree of sensitivity, financial companies can apply any and all data protection rules that are necessary, such as restricting certain users from accessing highly confidential information.

Yet, this identification process is often looked at as a reactive measure by many financial businesses. The challenge in proactive data management lies in an organisation’s ability to eliminate the frictions it has in tracking, identifying and classifying information, as opposed to doing so retrospectively. After all, data classification plays a vital role in ensuring data protection is upheld.

A proactive approach is integral to effective data management and governance. The first step in achieving this approach involves creating a data marketplace, or a curated, secured and governed data repository. Having something like a data marketplace in place means that as soon as data enters an organisation, enterprises can determine its degree of sensitivity, how it should be managed, and which analytics need to be run, to extract the most value out of the data.

Once these steps are taken, compliance and data privacy happen almost naturally and become ingrained in the business. When companies are aware of every single piece of data in their possession, they can know exactly how it’s being protected. Such a robust strategy ensures that institutions meet the high standards of trust that their customers have bestowed upon them in protecting their personal data. And, with this level of control, enterprises can avoid data lockout, reduce friction for employees, and optimise the value they unlock from their data. At the same time, they can have the peace of mind that they are compliant and protected.

A business-ready solution for data protection

With so many rules and regulations to keep track of, data protection shouldn’t be another worry to add to the list. Financial companies can maximise the efficacy of their existing security and governance strategies by applying it to all datasets across the enterprise – whether that be on-premise, in the cloud, or a combination of the two. In particular, as a scalable and low-cost solution, organisations are increasingly turning to the cloud for their data management needs. It’s expected that over half (51%) of business data will be stored in the cloud by 2024.

This is where an enterprise data cloud (EDC) really shows it’s worth, allowing financial companies to keep their data protected, compliant, and successfully governed. Simply put, an EDC is a hybrid and multi-cloud platform that harnesses analytics at every stage of the data lifecycle. It enables organisations to extract the true value of their data while still providing a consistent layer of security.

An EDC gives financial businesses a single source of truth, built on technology that operates on any cloud environment and right through to the edge. Armed with an EDC, companies have complete visibility over their data, no matter where it resides in the enterprise or the data lifecycle, easing the task of managing and protecting data. On top of this, an EDC supports a variety of data functions, including the data marketplace, and works to provide control, visibility and examination over data. With all these aspects working together, financial institutions can ensure that all data which passes through their infrastructure and into the data marketplace is efficiently governed and protected.

Bringing technology, people, and process together

Technological solutions, like an EDC, work at their maximum potential when they are in harmony with people and process. But, the triad has been thrown off balance by the rise of remote working and reduction in staff numbers. While all businesses recognise that sensitive data needs to be encrypted and access should be restricted, this has been a difficult feat as employees work from home and use devices outside of the traditional network security parameters. In fact, nearly half (48%) of employees are less likely to follow safe data practices when working from home. This will exponentially increase the risk of data breaches.

In addition, with almost a fifth (18%) of the UK workforce on furlough and team numbers shrinking, companies don’t have the same amount of manpower to validate both the systems being used, as well as the data being run in these systems, to ensure that they are compliant. Within the office environment, organisations were able to create ‘islands of perfect governance’, with all departments being aware of the applications used to manage data and therefore, guaranteeing higher levels of compliance. However, these safety nets have collapsed during home working and it’s become more difficult to ensure the security and privacy of data within an enterprise.

What’s needed here is an overarching framework that provides a standard for data governance. This is enabled by having the right technology solution, a proactive approach to data management and people within a business supporting it from the bottom up in place — forming a triad that works in perfect harmony. A framework such as this also enables enterprises to assess what they need to do to create data protection rules internally that ensure compliance, and allows employees to self-check their data security protocols eliminating any uncertainty about protecting sensitive data.

It is important to remember that the right technology alone won’t make people compliant – whether they are working in an office or remotely. Rather, as pointed out above, it is technology, people, and process, working in sync, that will ensure that regulations are adhered to and data is managed and protected.

Long-lasting success with data protection

With data volumes growing and remote working creating security vulnerabilities, financial businesses need to get on top of their data from the get-go. By proactively identifying sensitive data, accurately securing it, and delivering trusted data to end-users, the right data can be put into the hands of the right people.

Creating a watertight data privacy strategy requires financial organisations to deliver a uniform approach to data management and protection across departments to ensure compliance. In addition, harnessing technology, such as an EDC, will provide visibility and control over sensitive data, enabling financial institutions to unlock real-time insights from their data while still providing a consistent layer of security. With technology, people and process in harmony, enterprises can operate with the confidence that their data is being managed successfully and they are compliant with both existing and new regulations.

Continue Reading

Technology

Optimising and Securing Device Management in a Corporate Environment

Published

on

Optimising and Securing Device Management in a Corporate Environment 2

By Nadav Avni, Marketing Director at Radix Technologies

The proliferation of digital devices used in every organisation has only grown in the past few years. Digital devices provide greater flexibility and mobility for companies, but they also create more of a burden on IT teams and administrators to manage it all. Is there a device management solution powerful enough to support your corporate needs?

What Is Mobile Device Management (MDM)?

Mobile devices have more capabilities than ever before – and they’re accessing more sensitive and property data, too. In fact, 42% of enterprises now consider themselves mobile-first. As more employees moved to remote work, it underscored the need for greater security. At the same time, it made device management more difficult for IT teams.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) allows the remote management of every device in an organisation’s fleet from a centralised platform that’s accessible from anywhere. It gives complete control of devices and provides a way to manage settings, policies, and security in one place.

The Importance of MDM

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of CFOs said they expect to keep some employees working from home and shift others to remote work permanently. The need to manage devices remotely isn’t going away even when the pandemic is over. Even when employees are working on-site, they still use mobile devices.

Smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other single-use devices all need management. Workers may be in different locations than IT administrators. MDM allows efficient remote management of every device in the fleet regardless of the administrators’ and employees’ location.

Some of the core functions of mobile device management include:

  • Managing setting and policies
  • Monitoring app usage and performance
  • Updating equipment, software, and applications
  • Monitoring health of equipment
  • Monitoring equipment location, status, and activity
  • Remote device control for diagnosis and troubleshooting
  • Encryption of email and files
  • Segregation for work and personal device use, creating separate and secured environments for work data.

More than Security

Most MDM solutions focus mainly on Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and the security layer. A fully-featured MDM/EMM system adds another layer that provides comprehensive device management. This gives IT administrators the ability to manage nearly every type of device running on every major operating system from one platform.

Flexible solutions can be installed as an on-premises solution or on the cloud for reduced latency, redundancy, and end-to-end security with encryption. When you’re running a mobile device management platform in the cloud, the service provider automatically applies updates and patches. Hence, it’s one more thing you won’t need to worry about. It also makes it easier for administrators to access the platform remotely.

Managing Compliance

Nadav Avni

Nadav Avni

Mobile devices increase the possibility of data breaches or leaks. Besides the possibility of cyber-attacks, a staggering number of laptops and smartphones are lost or stolen. On average, 70 million devices are lost or stolen annually, with less than 10% of ever being recovered. This is an exceptionally big problem for managing compliance in regulated industries, such as healthcare, financial, and other businesses.

A robust MDM/EMM software provides end-to-end security and encryption to protect data. Devices can be tracked with geofence and anti-theft filters. If a device leaves an authorised area, it triggers a warning note to administrators, who can remotely lock the device or wipe the data. MDM/EMM apps with advanced security features also create snapshots on the fly even while devices are running to make restoring or recovery from virus attacks or system crashes easier.

Besides automated data audits, these functions help organisations comply with even the most stringent compliance regulations, including GDPR, the EU’s General Data Privacy Regulations. It also acts as an essential element in complying with HIPAA, SOX, FISMA, PCI DSS, and other regulations.

More Efficient Deployment

Devices can be deployed in batches with preset configuration, settings, and corporate policies. By automating enrollment tasks, the devices can be up and running in your environment without user intervention. It all happens in the background the first time a device is fired up and connected to a network.

Besides the platform’s native and priority enrollment modules, devices can also be deployed using a range of platforms. This provides an extremely friendly out of the box experience (OOBE) for employees without tying up IT teams for hours to configure new devices.

Tools for All Stakeholders

Modern MDM/EMM tools also provide sophisticated reporting tools to all stakeholders in the organisation. IT teams can manage the entire device fleet holistically or drill down to any individual device. Managers can look at adoption and usage rates. CFOs can look at the ROI. Each automated report can be customised to show what each group of stakeholders needs to make data-driven business decisions.

Tools for OEMs and Vendors

APIs are usually available for solution developers. That means the platform can be embedded in device firmware and integrated at the factory level for OEMs. System-level integration is also possible, so mobile device management software can be pre-installed and ready to go upon device delivery.

Managing Use and Content

Not every employee needs every functionality on every device. MDM software allows you to apply single-app or multi-app kiosk mode. This creates an encapsulated environment with access to the functionality and apps you determine.

It creates a consistent look-and-feel for devices and control device elements, such as locking down external ports or preventing unauthorised interaction of non-company installed apps. You can limit external internet use or enable/disable Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections.

Device Management Solution

One of the biggest barriers to continued remote work is the lack of technology and infrastructure to allow remote employees to work productively. Therefore, implementing a modular and flexible MDM/EMM solution is key to successfully and efficiently managing your devices. Look for one that not only accomplishes the points listed above but one that also allows customisation for just about any use case. Take control of your entire mobile device fleet and gain the ability to finally manage nearly every aspect with ease.

Continue Reading

Technology

2021: A year of digital enablement

Published

on

2021: A year of digital enablement 3

By Peter O’Halloran, Vice President, Global Digital Commerce, Fiserv

In 2021, digital innovation will continue to accelerate, allowing businesses to shift to new ways of operating and adapt to changing consumer behaviour and expectations. We will continue to see an increase in digital commerce and alternative payment methods, and more intertwined physical and digital experiences. Here are my five predictions for the year ahead.

  1. Digital commerce will continue to rise

This year, businesses will be focused on ramping up existing avenues of growth and generating new ones, leaning into experiences and incorporating lessons learned during the pandemic. To stay ahead of the competition, drive sales, and continually engage with customers, we’ll see businesses send out special offers on a more regular basis, integrate loyalty and gift schemes, as well as offer additional value-added services, such as click-and-collect services that allow people to pick up online orders in store, free shipping and better options on returns.

  1. Physical and digital environments will blend

A growing consideration for businesses is how to optimise and connect digital and physical experiences. There has been an exponential rise in click-and-collect services, virtual queuing and appointment systems. According to 2019 research from Barclaycard, a third of retailers (34%) saw in-store sales increase after offering click-and-collect services. And by digitalising certain parts of the customer experience, businesses from restaurants to salons can operate more safely in their physical locations. Apps that allow customers to order and pay for food in advance, or book time slots for in-person services, are some examples of how businesses will continue to connect the physical and digital environments as they navigate the current landscape.

  1. Alternative payment methods will proliferate

Consumer payment habits have shifted significantly since the start of the pandemic. The recent Expectations & Experiences report from Fiserv found that a large number of consumers have increased their use of mobile payment apps and person-to-person (P2P) payments, and that they expect those changes to last. We will also likely see an increase in the adoption of proximity payments, such as mobile payments, NFC payments and QR codes.

Peter O’Halloran

Peter O’Halloran

In addition, the rise of digital payments could also accelerate the adoption of local or regional payment methods to better engage with customers. There are a number of methods that have emerged and already gained popularity, such as Klarna across Europe, Paytm in India and Brazil’s Boleto voucher system.

  1. Commerce-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) will grow

As consumers continue to expect new payment forms and digital experiences, businesses will continue to adopt more innovative capabilities. There is a growing usage trend for IoT in commerce, such as smartphone-based or voice-enabled capabilities. From grocery, fashion to other day-to-day activities such as paying for petrol, IoT devices can enable businesses to harness customer data to gain further insight into their behaviour and provide personalised offers and services. The new year will see commerce-enabled IoT increase, as well as further digital innovations to help grow revenue streams and enhance customer experience.

  1. Security will continue to be a priority

As more activity moves online, security is more vital than ever. 2020 saw a proliferation of COVID-19 related scams and fraud, such as phishing emails on relief funds or health information. These trends will likely continue, evolving to latch on to the concern of the moment, and we will see businesses, payment providers and financial institutions increasing their investment in the appropriate fraud solutions to protect both their organisation and customers.

Regulatory requirements will also continue to bolster security and fraud management. In Europe, regulations such as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), which is part of the EU Revised Direction on Payment Services (PSD2), help ensure that payments are secured with multi-factor authentication, providing additional security and assurance for consumers.

A digitally-enabled future

Many businesses have successfully adapted to a new way of operating. As we go into the new year and continue to navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic, businesses will be able to rely on those learnings to adjust quickly to changes that come their way.

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Latest Articles

Commodities rally, stocks steady, yields off highs 4 Commodities rally, stocks steady, yields off highs 5
Trading4 mins ago

Commodities rally, stocks steady, yields off highs

By Danilo Masoni and Anshuman Daga MILAN/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Optimism about the economic outlook pushed commodity prices to new highs...

Concern over rich-poor divide seen on the increase during pandemic 6 Concern over rich-poor divide seen on the increase during pandemic 7
Top Stories15 mins ago

Concern over rich-poor divide seen on the increase during pandemic

By Matthew Lavietes NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – People have become more concerned about the gap between rich and...

Bitcoin tumbles 17% as doubts grow over valuations 8 Bitcoin tumbles 17% as doubts grow over valuations 9
Finance18 mins ago

Bitcoin tumbles 17% as doubts grow over valuations

By Tom Wilson and Tom Westbrook LONDON/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bitcoin tumbled 17% on Tuesday, sparking a sell-off across cryptocurrency markets...

Sterling climbs towards $1.41 as PM sets roadmap to easing lockdown 10 Sterling climbs towards $1.41 as PM sets roadmap to easing lockdown 11
Trading21 mins ago

Sterling climbs towards $1.41 as PM sets roadmap to easing lockdown

By Joice Alves LONDON (Reuters) – Sterling edged higher on Tuesday against both the dollar and the euro after Prime...

H&M, IKEA and Stora Enso backed TreeToTextile builds sustainable fibre demo plant 12 H&M, IKEA and Stora Enso backed TreeToTextile builds sustainable fibre demo plant 13
Business24 mins ago

H&M, IKEA and Stora Enso backed TreeToTextile builds sustainable fibre demo plant

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A venture part-owned by Finnish forestry group Stora Enso, Sweden’s H&M and IKEA said on Tuesday it...

IHG books $153 million loss, Holiday Inn softens coronavirus blow 14 IHG books $153 million loss, Holiday Inn softens coronavirus blow 15
Business27 mins ago

IHG books $153 million loss, Holiday Inn softens coronavirus blow

By Tanishaa Nadkar (Reuters) – InterContinental Hotels booked an annual loss of $153 million on Tuesday, pummelled by repeated COVID-19...

Boon or bane? Malaysian island reclamation plan divides residents 16 Boon or bane? Malaysian island reclamation plan divides residents 17
Top Stories30 mins ago

Boon or bane? Malaysian island reclamation plan divides residents

By Rina Chandran (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The island of Penang on the northwest coast of Malaysia is known for...

Aviva sells French business to Macif's Aéma Groupe for $3.9 billion 18 Aviva sells French business to Macif's Aéma Groupe for $3.9 billion 19
Business34 mins ago

Aviva sells French business to Macif’s Aéma Groupe for $3.9 billion

LONDON (Reuters) – Aviva has agreed the sale of its operations in France for 3.2 billion euros ($3.89 billion) to...

The future of cryptocurrency in the eCommerce industry 20 The future of cryptocurrency in the eCommerce industry 21
Finance37 mins ago

The future of cryptocurrency in the eCommerce industry

By Josh Brooks, Head of Marketing at OnBuy.co With some of the biggest names in the business turning to cryptocurrencies,...

HSBC curbs profit and payout ambitions, bets on Asia wealth 22 HSBC curbs profit and payout ambitions, bets on Asia wealth 23
Top Stories40 mins ago

HSBC curbs profit and payout ambitions, bets on Asia wealth

By Alun John and Lawrence White HONG KONG/LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC Holdings PLC on Tuesday abandoned its long-term profitability target,...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now