Threats are continuously changing, and the cybersecurity environment is also evolving. Stakes are high in the banking and financial sector because large sums of money are at risk, and there is a chance that banks and other financial systems will be compromised, which could cause significant economic disruption.
New opportunities, however, bring with them new risks, particularly those related to cyber security. Financial services have the highest cost of all the industries analyzed for cybercrime, according to a report by Accenture. Consider one of the biggest data breaches in recent memory, the Equifax incident in 2017, which resulted in the exposure of 147 million people’s personal data. Following the incident, Equifax has spent $1.4 billion just on security upgrades. Of course, that doesn’t include the restitution given to individuals whose data was compromised, legal fees, and numerous other expenses.
Although apps are the public face of fintech, it is APIs that enable its magic and are frequently the target of contemporary cyberattacks. The majority of the eight cybersecurity dangers listed below have a direct bearing on API security.
Cybersecurity needs to be your top priority if you are the owner of a FinTech business.You must first understand the risks if you want to reduce them.
The top cyber security issues facing FinTech companies in 2023 are as follows:
- Identity Theft
Cybercriminals can impersonate users and gain access to accounts on fintech apps using stolen or breached login credentials, which gives them the opportunity to steal money and private data.
One of the most prevalent strategies for identity theft involves API attacks that affect authentication tokens and other account security measures.
- Security Concerns with Cloud Computing
A growing number of financial services, including online banking, payment gateways, and digital wallets, rely on cloud-based platforms. Unquestionable advantages of cloud computing include speed, accessibility, and scalability, to name a few.
The fact that so much data is flowing through the cloud, though, makes it an ideal hiding place for attackers. This is why it’s crucial to pick a trustworthy cloud provider with a modern, proactive security approach.
- Data Breaches
Fintech apps contain a staggering amount of personal and financial information, including credit card and bank account numbers, addresses, and responses to security questions. Cyber attackers who want to make money by selling the data to others or using it to commit financial fraud highly prize this sensitive information.
Determined thieves use phishing attacks, sneak malware, and exploit exposed API endpoints without proper access controls to obtain the data they want.
- Malware Attacks
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) attacks, which targeted the protocol that most financial institutions, such as banks, rely on, are perhaps the most notable examples here.
Although some Fintech firms are moving away from SWIFT and toward blockchain-based payment protocols, malware attacks remain a serious threat. Malware can use multiple entry points from different sources, unlike other types of attacks, including emails, pop-up windows, malicious websites, third-party software, and so on. These attacks are particularly risky due to their high rate of data transfer and ability to bring down entire networks.
- Integration Loopholes
Apps are necessary for many common fintech functions to communicate with conventional banks, including mobile transfers. It is a challenging technical challenge to integrate contemporary high-tech apps with the legacy systems frequently used by established financial institutions.
The solution typically calls for a number of custom APIs, which introduce a number of potential security holes. Without meticulous testing and extreme attention to detail, it’s easy to leave a gap that cybercriminals can discover and take advantage of.
- AI Fuzzing
You’ve probably noticed a pattern in our list up to this point: cybercriminals search for mistakes and weaknesses they can take advantage of in order to steal user data and identities.
Hackers use a technique known as “fuzzing” or “fuzz testing” to identify errors. This testing method provides erroneous, unexpected, or random data to APIs or applications. Following that, the program is checked for errors like crashes, failed in-built code assertions, or potential memory leaks.
Fuzzing used to be a slow, manual process that gave security teams a chance to find and correct mistakes before hackers could exploit them.
To automate the fuzzing process and find zero-day vulnerabilities, cybercriminals are now more frequently using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), particularly in APIs.