FinTech App Security: Top-10 steps you need to be aware of (Part 2)

In the previous article, “Fintech Application Security. Part 1”, we have already covered infrastructural safety, the need for a proper code along with security integration on each step of the application usage. Moving forward with security measures towards building a safe Fintech application, we are now to cover more of the useful information related to security integration, testing stages, and educating customers on the most essential safety tips.

Implement Security in the Everyday Workflow

Did you know that one of the major weaknesses of IT security is enterprise employees? Things like a misconfiguration of the system, clicks on suspicious links and losing devices can massively affect the security of the company, causing a lot of damage. To avoid negative consequences, it is important to implement solutions that will assist with a quick recovery:

Always do the Backup

To secure all the information, it is vital to back up all the files, the code, and existing databases. You need to decide on the needed frequency and pick up a program that will allow you to choose what data you want to save and how often you need it. There are programs that offer to conduct the backup every day, every week, or once in a few months. You just need to choose whatever suits your application and the data it collects.

Conduct Recovery Rehearsals

One of the vital strategies directed to maintain security should include recovery rehearsals after stimulating a system attack. When practicing recoveries, enterprises are able to receive useful metrics like the amount of lost data, system downtime, and data breaches to understand whether there are any security issues that have to be addressed.

Set apart Development, Pre-release, and Release Data

To eliminate any risks which occur during different stages of application development and its production that might influence sensitive data, it is essential to identify how the information is accessed. For example, developers might not need to have access to the production stage data, and will only require product development information. Limiting the amount of exposed data will help to secure important files and reduce the risk of losing them.

Get Everyone to Sign an NDA

Every time the company engages new people into the project of application development, it is crucial to prepare a non-disclosure agreement and get it signed by each member and contractor involved. People should understand the level of confidentiality and agree on every paragraph. This will give you an opportunity to secure all the project-related data.

Make Use of ISO 27001

When it comes to information security guarantee, ISO 27001 is considered being the best certification. Every FinTech organization is required to implement the certificate that covers a list of the most significant security areas:

  • Assessing risks;
  • Managing incidents;
  • Detecting vulnerabilities;
  • Fulfilling requirements for compliance;
  • Following security policy.

Conduct Regular Testing

Every process of software development should include testing. With fintech apps, security testing should be conducted regularly, in different development stages, before and after release.

Review the Network

The essential thing to remember is that the network is one of the first elements that requires undergoing testing. Network devices, system servers, and DNS along with the areas that are most exposed have to be thoroughly checked. You should also consider easily compromised elements like various databases, operating systems, and existing file storage and ensure to have the latest safety patches in place.

Examine the Data received from the Client-side

This includes internal testing to review the application when it runs in the browser to eliminate any data breaches. Such a process contains injections of CSS and HTML, storage check, clickjacking, the execution of JavaScript and helps to identify existing vulnerabilities and weak points and their harm to the application.

Check the Server

When it comes to server security, it is important to install proper firewalls and safety tools. While all the initial tests should be conducted in-house, it is a necessary practice to organize an external audit yearly.

Implement a Strategy for API Security

Mobile applications utilize APIs to interconnect with back-end data. API’s tokens play a significant role in maintaining the secure and efficient functioning of Fintech applications. In order to strengthen API’s safety, it is recommended to implement an automatic token rotation along with the proper safety measures of information verification.

Prepare the System for Verification

The system should work properly and without hitches. Identification includes entering a login, authentication - a passcode as one option for verification. Other methods include RSA token, fingerprint, or a retina scan. To add another security layer, many Fintech apps use two-way authentication where users need to enter a pin-code or answer a security question. The last comes authorization responsible for identifying what users can and cannot do. API usually restricts general access, letting users complete only certain commands. Among the most common types of authorization are IP filtering, assignment of the route, and capacity management of traffic.

Encrypt Data

When the information is transferred from one entity to another, it is extremely vulnerable and, as a result, can be easily stolen. Encryption helps to protect all the data which is transferred to various entities, sharing the original information with authorized users and unintelligible one with unauthorized figures and hackers. To encrypt data, companies use different algorithms, like Advanced Encryption Standard, RSA, ECC, and TDES. The first one is used by almost all the applications on iOS and Android. Data encryption adds another layer of safety and works along with SSL certificates and HTTPS helping to protect confidential data, including:

  • Personal information (name, telephone, address).
  • Transaction data (payment tracking, account details, credit card buying).

Educate Users

Not all people are aware of basic safety tips and might not know when their personal data can be put at risk. It is crucial to educate application users and teach them how to be proactive to secure their personal information and finances. Share with customers information on how the application collects the data and uses it, and let them access it whenever they need it. Besides, include some basic rules for using an application for mobile banking to ensure maximum security:

  • Install a VPN
  • Use an antivirus program
  • Avoid opening applications when on a public network
  • Never save the name and passcode in the app
  • Purchase from authorized application stores only
  • Avoid device rooting

The more information you share with the users, the lower the risks of the data breach, and hacker attacks.

Block Unusual Payments

This is a very handy feature to protect the user’s finances and make sure that the account will not be hacked by someone unauthorized. Such a mechanism can decline unusual transactions, like withdrawing a large sum of money or doing it from a different country. This is now implemented by most of the banks and Fintech applications and is a necessity for securing customer’s data and finances.

Some Fintech applications deploy even more sophisticated safety measures, allowing people to choose how they prefer to secure their information. They can disable ATM withdrawals, Internet purchases, and even set a limit for certain transactions. Some applications disable all the functions by default, and users need to adjust the access whenever they need to complete an action.

Conclusion

Security has always been a rather sensitive and complicated component in the process of application development. As technology keeps evolving, the world is facing more data-related risks, being more vulnerable to hacker’s attacks and fraud. That is the major reason Fintech application developers should implement all types of safety measures, adding multiple layers of protection on every stage of the app usage.

While for people it is a convenient application to manage finances, for developers it is a constant hard work of developing, deploying, and testing to ensure that the entire system and all of its elements are properly secured and stored. If you want to provide your customers with a safe and efficient application for mobile banking, your foremost priority should always be security.