Claudio Baumann
Managing Director Latam
Akamai

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Preparing for Cyberthreats Before They Happen Crucial for Fintech

By Claudio Baumann | Mon, 05/09/2022 - 16:00

According to data provided by Akamai, obtained through the company's real-time monitoring of cyberattacks, more than 78,000 cases per hour had been registered in Mexico by the end of March 2022.

Globally, one of the most affected sectors is financial services, which ranks third for the most attacks: more than 5 million worldwide as of 2021, according to the latest Akamai report. Financial technology is undergoing a rapid evolution. For example, it’s estimated that during 2022, Mexico will add 46.6 million fintech users for digital payments.

Mexico is also seeing the greatest expansion of startups in Latin America, according to the study, "Soft Landing in Latin America," conducted by investment fund Endeavor, General Atlantic, Mastercard and Google. Most of the companies that have started their expansion process in the region belong to the financial technology, or fintech, sector.

Cyber criminals are taking advantage of this boom and any vulnerability within financial services systems to carry out their misdeeds. For this reason, today more than ever, investment in information technology security is critical for fintechs. As financial technology companies, they rely heavily on technology and thus become the target of cybercriminals.

During the pandemic, these companies have strengthened their capabilities to compete directly with banks or even merged with the traditional financial system to meet current customer demands. However, today’s ease of working remotely on the one hand, and the need to transfer money from various devices wherever we are, on the other hand, must overcome the continuous threat of cyberattacks.

One of main pillars of the growth of the financial technology market is the use of technologies that eliminate or considerably reduce the vulnerability of the customer’s data security that includes, in addition to personal information and financial records, relevant information such as online behavior and social media spending habits to track the user's fingerprint.

Here are some ways to prepare against cyberattacks:

Mobile Device Security

Over the last decade, the internet has spread and evolved rapidly, connecting more than 13 billion people on a daily basis via mobile devices around the world. Each one of those devices, and the behavior of their users, offers an opportunity for cybercriminals to explore the data that can be exposed during the execution of a financial transaction. A combination of security tools and management is crucial to avoid an exponential increase in risk, as the majority of fintech users prefer to make transactions with mobile devices.

Cloud Security

The cloud is considered the engine of fintech companies, allowing for fast and flexible implementation. The use of different cloud providers, allied to fintech’s need to rapidly deploy new products and interfaces, however, require new approaches to security. Business requirements mean it is no longer possible to wait on long cycles of development and testing before applications are made available to the public. Security policies and methodologies need to be embedded from the design of the infrastructure and applications.

Machine Learning

Advances in cybersecurity have accelerated rapidly with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning applied over massive volumes of data gathered in real time from millions of attack attempts. Both are crucial trends in preventing cyberattacks, as they can analyze and recognize patterns to prevent them. Machine learning technology uses algorithms to automatically identify when new threats require action.

Malware and Other Attacks

Malware may generate not only direct financial losses to fintech companies but also a lack of trust. Although any industry may be subject to ransomware attacks, as we have seen lately, companies that deal with customer deposits and investments may risk losing their credibility, customers and assets. For these companies strong security policies and investments have to be a huge priority.

Traditional Banking

Traditional banks have been rapidly incorporating financial technology services into their operations, combining their financial strength and penetration with the new possibilities that customers demand. This movement requires the integration of legacy systems, reliable and proven over time, into a completely new environment, requiring an integrated view of the operations and eventually backhauling part of the existing resources.

The potential growth of financial technology companies is large. Investment in security is an important factor for the segment to continue its vertiginous growth, not only as one additional piece of the operation but as a core component of the company's strategy.

About Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the company in the cloud that empowers and protects life online

Akamai empowers and protects life online. Leading companies around the world choose Akamai to create, deliver and protect their digital experiences, helping millions of people live, work and play every day. Powered by the world's most distributed computing platform, from cloud to edge, our customers can easily build and run applications, while bringing experiences closer to users and keeping threats at bay. For more information on Akamai's IT, security, and delivery solutions, visit akamai.com y akamai.com/blog, or follow Akamai Technologies on Twitter and  LinkedIn.

Photo by:   Claudio Baumann