By Rui Ribeiro, CEO at Jscrambler
The coronavirus pandemic has brought on a lot of changes into modern society, specifically when it comes to digital transformation. If we were already headed into the digital direction pre-pandemic, these unprecedented circumstances have only further accelerated the process. From education to banking, all sectors are going through this digital transformation, providing much-needed safer alternatives to in-person interactions. But how does this new paradigm impact the cybersecurity posture of organisations? How are financial institutions adapting and what do they need to improve?
When it comes to the banking sector, the digital component has become instrumental in the economy. On this note, it was found in a recent survey that 84% of consumers expect banks to actively transform their processes and offer digital services to keep them safe. We have seen large-scale closure of physical banks, and the use of electronic payments is increasing as people make the shift from cash to digital. Due to the circumstances, there has also been a general increase in e-commerce transactions, for example, there was an 81% increase in Italy according to Mckinsey & Co. All these factors are making traditional banks shift to digital banking faster than ever.
Incumbents are embracing the democratization of financial services and launching customer-centric platforms, for example, Santander launching openBank or RBS launching Bó. Not only are we seeing traditional banks shift their processes, but we are also seeing an increase in neobanks. These banks operate exclusively online without traditional physical branch networks as is the case with Revolut, N26, Nubank, and many more. But what does all this rapid growth mean for banks in terms of security?
The Copay example is only one in many incidents that have happened over the years. These cybersecurity incidents are sadly not uncommon, especially when technology advances as fast as it has in the past few years. With this rapid mutation of digital banking solutions, we see malicious strategies also improving fast to try and keep up with the market. Companies need to be aware of this double-edged sword so that they can also focus on improving their security. Having visibility and control over their products is crucial when it comes to ensuring that their web and mobile applications are not being leveraged by attackers to siphon user data.
In conclusion, although the shift to digital transformation is bringing a lot of needed safety for users when it comes to avoiding in-person interactions, users also need protection in the digital space. Because of this, banks are required to consider the possibility of the various online threats and find solutions to keep their users’ data safe. Developing an application fast enough to keep up with other digital banking applications is not enough to provide a good user experience. The key takeaway here is that banks need to take action now and mature their client-side security to prevent breaches and be compliant with regulations. If they are able to successfully manage their client-side security, they can outpace attackers and keep their users safe.