It’s fair to say that 2020 has been among the most consequential years ever for the fintech (financial technology) industry. Thanks in no small part to a deadly pandemic that swept across much of the world, consumers, households and businesses alike have all had to depend on the digital world a whole lot more than at any time previously.
We all love to be popular, but banks could forgo the increasingly sophisticated attention of cyber-criminals who are employing the latest technologies to commit cyber-theft, with the financial industry as their favourite target. Can banks do anything to protect themselves, or are they helpless victims of this new breed of bank thief? Fortunately, there are practical steps that banks—and customers—can take to strengthen their armour against cyber-security breaches.
Cyber-hackers are using increasingly sophisticated and complex malicious software that can make early detection of fraudulent activity difficult. To protect themselves, financial institutions need not only technological excellence but also effective training mechanisms to promote vigilance among their workforce. While cybersecurity software is extremely useful, cyber-protection must begin at home, with knowledgeable staff who are equipped to recognise and thwart cyber-breaches. This can be accomplished only with constructive staff cyber-training.
Ransomware, one of the fastest-growing malware hazards of the 21st century, continues to threaten businesses and public institutions around the world. Mostly targeting computers and mobile devices, it quickly spreads across networks, quietly encrypting every data file it finds until the entire system is compromised.
How Can Banks Solve the Challenge of Preventing Financial Crime and Yet Deliver A Seamless Customer Onboarding Experience?
The scourge of financial crime is increasing. It’s being driven by organised crime rings, fuelled with billions of compromised data records, who are systematically and methodically targeting financial services firms with sophisticated application fraud attacks that use stolen or falsified identities in an effort to obtain new accounts.
SWIFT has a long history of enabling financial institutions to communicate with each other reliably and securely; thousands of banks use the SWIFT network for interbank messaging. Faced with the twin threats of intensifying cybercrime and growing compliance requirements, banks are scrambling to be secure and compliant while also profitable. SWIFT has developed robust financial-crime solutions that assist its members to comply with the gamut of regulations—from AML to KYC—profitably.
Banks are supposed to put up sturdy walls to protect the sensitive financial information that they closely guard, but sometimes these silos work to the benefit of the fraudsters intent on breaking in and stealing it. When bank teams work together, they present a much stronger unified barrier against cyber-criminals. What five steps do banks need to take to make this collaboration happen?
Cyberattacks have become one of the biggest threats, not only to business but to society at large. Cybercriminals, hacktivists and nation states are now capable of deploying malicious code to bring down everything from corporates to critical infrastructure in an instant.
Anyone working in banking knows that customer expectations are charging ahead at full throttle, fuelled by technology advances. Fortunately banks can use innovations such as AI and IoT to meet customers where they are at, and a recent Fujitsu report shows they are doing—or planning to do—just that. So what can we reasonably expect banking to become as a result of this transformative process?
Corporate governance is moving from back to front stage. Change starts at the top, and a good board of directors is credited with strengthening value creation and stability. What makes a good board? Members should represent their company’s diverse stakeholders and be skilled in a variety of areas that were historically considered the domain of management. For too long, too many boards have fallen short and a reboot is required!