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Countries across the world are working towards forming a digital economy and shaping its future. Digitization and internet connectivity have become the axis of this transformation. This transformation has also created a challenge for the security community to create a robust framework to ensure that digital vaults of the financial institutions are safe and secure. Security has emerged as the principal requirement for digital financial applications.

The financial technology (fintech) industry is thriving globally and has received approximately $17.4 billion in investment last year alone. Data privacy, customer trust, and long-term growth all depend on the security of a financial application. As these applications are accessed from numerous devices and through various channels, financial organisations strive hard to implement a foolproof security systems. The evolution of technology has also witnessed the changing threats and risks like the APT (Advanced Persistent Threats), phishing, botnets and mobile malware, jackpotting attacks etc.

According to Jordan Savvides, Head of Information Security, National Bank of Bahrain, “We will see more APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats) against the Banking Sector through customized Banking Trojans & Malware by exploiting social engineering &phishing techniques to infect the Banks’ internal corporate network.  These type of cyber-attacks are on-going, highly sophisticated, complex targeted stealth attacks that move under the radar, using lateral movement techniques, which makes it practically impossible for traditional signature based cyber-security controls to detect and prevent.”

He continued “Leveraging new banking channels of communication are important to better serve customers, but keeping pace with emerging technologies and their associated threats are also key challenges.  Mobile devices and applications are primary examples of the balance between greater efficiency and new kinds of cyber risks. Some financial institutions struggle in this area, while others find ways to combine usability and security.  Cyber threat intelligence reveals that phishing, botnets and mobile malware are rated among the most likely threats faced, and also among the ones with the biggest impact.  ATM heists are also on the increase as we see cyber criminals employing jackpotting attacks.”

Organizations and experts across the globe have made financial security their priority and are working towards tackling these threats. There are certain elements of a secure digital economy and some countries have excelled at creating safe and secure digital economies. “There are many factors contributing to a secure digital economy such as resilient internet infrastructure, secure business environment, flexibility of the regulatory environment, and international cooperation. These are just a few among other factors. When we talk about individual countries, I think many Asian countries are doing very well is this area such as Singapore, UAE, South Korea, and Japan.” Said Riyad Jazmawi, Head of Information Security, INVESTBANK, Jordan

The future of the financial organizations could be bright and the digital economy is no longer just a buzz word, and according to Stéphane Nappo, Global Chief Information Security Officer & Board Advisor, Société Générale IBFS the future of the payments industry would have “More beautiful innovation for customers with a powerful, but transparent security.”

Top CISOs, regional and international security experts would be joining the 2nd edition of the FinSec Summit organisedby UMS Conferences on the 05th and 06th of March 2018 in Dubai, UAE to discuss the trending technologies, their impact on the finance sector and the security threats and challenges associated with them. This year’s speakers include Pillairkulam Parthasarathy, Chief Security Officer & SVP, First Abu Dhabi Bank; Dato’ Arif Siddiqui, Chief Information Officer, Standard Chartered Bank, Malaysia; Benild Joseph, President, Information Systems Security Association, India; Stéphane Nappo, Global Chief Information Security Officer & Board Advisor, Société Générale IBFS; Abdul Manan Qureshi, Vice President, Head of Cyber Resilience, Business Continuity & Crisis Management, Riyad Bank and many more.

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