Best Practices for Cloud Security and Compliance in Fintech

Thanks to the sophistication and widespread availability of modern technology, it’s possible to manage your finances almost anywhere. You can take a photo of a check to deposit it into your account, and transfer funds from one account to another directly.

While this kind of financial technology (Fintech) makes things faster and easier in our personal lives, it also opens the door to more vulnerabilities. Financial institutions must work more actively to protect the information (and finances) of their customers, and in some cases, they must comply with strict regulations with regard to security.

Achieving cloud security and compliance in Fintech can be both complicated and expensive, but there are several best practices that can make things easier for you.

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Understand the Tenets of Fintech Security

While specific regulations, like FISMA, SOX, PCI DSS,  may force you to adhere to strict policies, there are some general categories of security you’ll need to keep in mind for Fintech security, including:

  • Building and maintaining a strong internal network: Without a fundamentally strong internal network, you’ll be open to a wide range of vulnerabilities.
  • Protecting customer data: Your customers are extremely important to your business. You’ll want to protect them from as many threats as possible.  
  • Relying on vulnerability management: What types of vulnerabilities does your organization face? How can you eliminate, prevent, or mitigate them?
  • Implementing access control: Tightly regulating who can access your systems (and when, and how) can dramatically improve your security.
  • Observing, monitoring, and continually testing networks: How much of a load can your servers handle? What kind of traffic is it getting? Continuous monitoring, observing, and testing will keep you in control.
  • Developing a robust IT security policy: Being able to customize policies to comply with internal and external regulations will further enhance security.

Develop a Cloud Security and Compliance Posture Management Strategy

One of the best measures you can take is investing in a cloud compliance and posture management solution. A solution like CloudGuard can help you do this, with attention to:

  • Cloud security operations. You’ll need a high-level way to manage your security posture across a variety of accounts, projects, regions, and visual networks.
  • Compliance and governance. Are you adhering to all the regulatory requirements your industry faces? Cloud compliance software can help you make sure you’re adhering to best practices at all times.
  • Access control. Ensuring that you have the proper levels of permissions and privileges into your cloud assets will provide further security controls and threat prevention.
  • Posture management. Centralizing and automating your policies in one platform can help you maintain security posture across all cloud assets at all stages of development.

Implement Visibility and Traffic Analysis

Financial institutions are frequently the targets of advanced, coordinated attacks, including DDoS attacks and hybrid attacks. If you want to protect against these kinds of attacks, you’ll need threat prevention software that provides you with more visibility and more ways to take action.

For example, one of the best things you can do is actively monitor your incoming traffic, and the loads on your servers. When you begin to notice aberrant activity, or a sign of a potential threat, you should be able to quickly adjust to counteract that threat. Ideally, your solution will be as automated as possible; you should be able to monitor traffic manually on demand, but you should receive automatic alerts when something strange begins to develop.

Upgrade Your Email Security

Occasionally, your financial institution will need to exchange messages with its customers. Unfortunately, traditional emails and other forms of communication can be inherently vulnerable. Accordingly, you’ll need an email security solution that allows you to message your customers,as well as colleagues, securely.

Externally, the best email platforms offer end-to-end encryption, so your customers can send you private information securely without fear of interception or fraud.

Internally, you’ll want an email product that protects your staff members from common email threats. Features like spam detection, simplified mail security settings, and antivirus protection are musts.

Keep Things Simple

Fintech is complex. There’s no getting around it. And to adhere to certain regulatory requirements, you’ll necessarily implement complex products, solutions, and strategies. That said, you should strive to keep things as simple as possible for your organization. If you can, try to implement a smaller number of solutions. Work with a narrower range of providers. And minimize the number of interdependencies you face.

Simpler organizations have a number of security advantages over their counterparts. For starters, the chances of having a security gap are lower, since you’ll have fewer moving parts to consider. You’ll also be more agile; because you have fewer things to juggle, you’ll be able to respond to new threats and integrate new ideas quicker.

Improve Customer Awareness

No matter how secure your infrastructure is, or how many security solutions you’ve employed in your organization, your customers will still be vulnerable if they’re not following best practices on their own. For example, if they aren’t using two-factor authentication, or if they’ve chosen an unsecure password, someone could get access to their account—and they could be the victim of identity theft.

Your security compliance means you’ll reduce the number of possible vulnerabilities that your customers face. However, it’s still important to educate your customers on best practices for modern security. Go out of your way to make sure they understand how to use your app, that they understand best practices for account management, and that they’re aware of common schemes. This isn’t a one-time effort; it’s something you’ll need to develop and execute consistently over time, learning and adapting to new threats along the way.

Are you a Fintech company in need of better security installations, or do you need help in compliance? Take a look at our assortment of cloud security solutions, or contact us today for more information.

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