Developing A Secure FinTech Application: Cybersecurity In FinTech

When it comes to FinTech applications, cybersecurity is of paramount importance. In an industry where data security and privacy are of the utmost concern, any breach could have devastating consequences. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your FinTech application is as secure as possible.

But, how do you go about developing a secure FinTech application? Before you even start to think about that, we’d like to run you through some crucial stats:

  • More than $50 billion are invested each year in FinTech
  • 2 out of three transactions are made online
  • By 2030, the global FinTech market is expected to be worth $698.48 billion, growing at a CAGR of 20.3% from 2021 to 2030.
  • There are currently over 12,000 FinTech startups worldwide, with 500+ new FinTechs being created every year.

Now that you have a better understanding of the scope and significance of the FinTech industry, let’s take a look at how to develop a secure FinTech application.

But First, Cybersecurity!

How not to expose the personal data of nearly 145.5 million of your consumers in a single day, resulting in a $4 billion loss? Definitely don’t ask Equifax – a company that was responsible for one of the largest data breaches in history. The 2017 Equifax breach resulted in the exposure of names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s licence numbers. But that’s not all – hackers also gained access to credit card numbers for more than 200,000 people and disputed documents with personal information for more than 182,000 people.

In short – it was a catastrophe. And it could have easily been avoided if proper cybersecurity measures were in place.

Secure FinTech Cybersecurity Challenges

When it comes to FinTech cybersecurity, there are a few key challenges that need to be addressed:

  1. Data Security And Privacy: In FinTech, data security is the top concern as 70% of banks consulted during the Sixth Annual Bank Survey. In the wake of high-profile data breaches, consumers are increasingly concerned about the security of their data. As a result, FinTech companies must go above and beyond to ensure that data is properly protected.
  2. Payment Security: With the rise of mobile payments, FinTech companies must be extra vigilant when it comes to payment security. Any breach could result in stolen funds or sensitive financial information.
  3. Fraud Prevention: The popularity of FinTech applications is contributing to the increase in cybercrime and fraud attempts. FinTech companies need to have strong fraud prevention measures in place to protect their customers.
  4. Employee security: In many cases, the weakest link in a company’s cybersecurity is its own employees. FinTech companies need to make sure that their employees are properly trained and educated on best practices for cybersecurity.

Secure FinTech Regulations And Policies

In addition to implementing strong cybersecurity measures, FinTech companies also need to be aware of the various regulations and policies that govern their industry. These include:

1. GDPR: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of regulations that were introduced in 2018 to protect the personal data of individuals in the European Union. The GDPR applies to any company that processes or intends to process the personal data of individuals in the EU.

2. eIDAS: The European Union’s eIDAS regulation is a set of standards that govern electronic identification and trust services. The regulation applies to any company that offers electronic identification, signatures, or other trust services within the EU.

3. PSD2: The Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) is a set of regulations that were introduced in 2018 to improve the safety and security of online payments in the European Union. The PSD2 applies to any company that offers payment services within the EU.

4. PCI DSS: The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards that aims to protect the payment data of cardholders. The standard applies to any company that processes, stores, or transmits credit card information in any way.

5. APPI: The Association for Payment and Clearing Services (APPI) is a set of guidelines that were introduced in 2017 to protect the payment data of cardholders. The APPI applies to any company that offers e-commerce services within East Africa.

Secure FinTech Cybersecurity Solutions

So, how do you make sure your FinTech application is secure? Here are some tips:

1. Use Encryption

Data encryption is incredibly important when it comes to data security. As a FinTech company, you should never store your customers’ sensitive information in plaintext. Always use industry-standard encryption algorithms and protocols, such as 3DES or RSA – they can ensure that even if your data is stolen, it will be difficult for hackers to decipher and use.

2. Role-Based Authentication

Role-based authentication restricts access to data based on the user’s role (administrator, sales representative, etc.). This can help prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive information and make it easier for security teams to monitor access patterns.

With the varying access level requirements of different users within a FinTech application, role-based authentication can provide a seamless and secure experience that’s tailored to each user.

3. Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring additional steps before authorizing access to data. This could include receiving a text message with a code or using biometric identification (fingerprint scanning, facial recognition software, etc.) to verify identity.

Multi-factor authentication also protects against phishing attacks, as it prevents hackers from accessing your application through fake login pages.

4. Short Login Sessions

Another way to increase security is to require users to re-authenticate after a period of inactivity. This will help prevent unauthorized access if a user’s device is lost or stolen.

Reduced session time can also reduce the risk of attacks that use brute-force methods to guess account credentials.

5. Force Password Change

Finally, to further protect your customers’ data, you may want to consider mandating users to change their passwords periodically. This can help prevent hackers from gaining access by guessing weak or compromised passwords.

To create a truly secure FinTech application, you must take these steps and leverage the latest cybersecurity technologies and best practices. And as always, make sure you partner with a trustworthy IT provider who will work with you every step of the way!

About Signzy

Signzy is a market-leading platform that is redefining the speed, accuracy, and experience of how financial institutions are onboarding customers and businesses – using the digital medium. The company’s award-winning no-code GO platform delivers seamless, end-to-end, and multi-channel onboarding journeys while offering totally customizable workflows. It gives these players access to an aggregated marketplace of 240+ bespoke APIs that can be easily added to any workflow with simple widgets.

Signzy is enabling ten million+ end customer and business onboarding every month at a success rate of 99% while reducing the speed to market from 6 months to 3-4 weeks. It works with over 240+ FIs globally, including the 4 largest banks in India, a Top 3 acquiring Bank in the US, and has a robust global partnership with Mastercard and Microsoft. The company’s product team is based out of Bengaluru, and it has a strong presence in Mumbai, New York, and Dubai.

Visit www.signzy.com for more information about us.

You can reach out to our team at reachout@signzy.com

Written By:

Signzy

Written by an insightful Signzian intent on learning and sharing knowledge.

 

Algorithmic Risk Intelligence: The Future of Risk Management

Introduction

The world is becoming more and more data-driven. As a result, data has become the lifeblood of many industries. Organizations are starting to realize the value of collecting and analyzing data to make intelligent decisions. However, this can be challenging if your organization does not have a proven framework for quantitative analysis. Algorithmic risk intelligence is a new way of systematically thinking about data risks with a few key considerations: how significant the potential impact is, the probability of occurrence, and how feasible it would be to prevent or mitigate the risk. Understanding these three factors will allow you to identify your most critical risks and give you an idea of where to focus your efforts when it comes time to prioritize which risks you need to address.

 

Utilization of historical data to build predictive models

The utilization of historical data to build predictive models is a common practice. It can be done by using the ARIMA approach.

ARIMA (Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average) is a technique that uses historical data to predict future values, which can be used to make better decisions. It uses past information to forecast the future. These methods are powerful, but they are also quite complex, and they require more advanced statistical knowledge to make them work properly. Using historical data to build predictive models is essential to algorithmic risk intelligence. 

Utilizing historical data to build predictive models will help you identify risk areas, but it does not mean you should stop there. It would be best to look at other factors that are not captured in the model. For example, you should be looking at data that will help you identify new or emerging risks.

Measurement, quantification, and anticipation roles of ARI

Algorithmic risk intelligence is about understanding, quantifying, and anticipating the risks that matter to your organization. It is a new way of systematically thinking about data risks with a few key considerations: how significant the potential impact is, the probability of occurrence, and how feasible it would be to prevent or mitigate the risk. Understanding these three factors will allow you to identify your most critical risks and give you an idea of where to focus your efforts when it comes time to prioritize which risks you need to address.

Some other vital roles that ARI can play in an organization are measurement, quantification, and anticipation. Measurement is about understanding the scope and magnitude of potential risk. Quantification is about estimating the probability of a risk occurring. Finally, anticipation is about developing a plan to prevent or mitigate risk from occurring.

There are many types of data in the digital world that could be used as a subset of ARI. The three most prominent types are customer, company, and industry data. Customer data includes customer preferences, personal data, customer service records, and customer behavior patterns. Company data has an organizational structure, size, history, and personnel records. Finally, industry data includes information like market trends. 

 

ARI to reduce business loss due to unforeseen circumstances

ARI is a systematic way of understanding your data risks. It can help you identify the most critical risks you need to address and help you prioritize the ones you need to address.

ARI is a framework that includes three key considerations: the risk’s potential, probability, and feasibility. With these three factors in mind, you can create a plan for mitigating your data risks.

ARI is ideal because it can be applied to any data, and it can start with a minor concern and grow into a full-blown disaster recovery plan.

Role of ARI to uncover organization’s most critical surfaces

As we rely on digital technologies to grow and expand, the risk of data breaches and other cyber risks continues to grow. Therefore, it’s critical to understand each risk’s potential impact and probability of occurrence and decide what you need to do to mitigate the risk.

It is where algorithmic risk intelligence (ARI) comes in. ARI is a new way of thinking about data risks systematically. It has three considerations:

(1) How significant the potential impact is

(2) what is the probability of occurrence is 

(3) how feasible it would be to prevent or mitigate the risk.

Understanding these three factors will allow you to identify your most critical risks and give you an idea of where to focus your efforts when it comes time to prioritize which risks you need to address.

How can Signzy help?

Fintech companies must safeguard sensitive customer data to reduce data risks. But how can this be accomplished?

You can depend on us to help you in that regard. We at Signzy have a variety of AI-based solutions to digitally identify, verify, and authenticate customers, moreover helping in ensuring complete security. Our solution for onboarding security has been deployed by more than 45 significant and valued clients. These include leading banks, NBFCs, mutual fund managers, P2P lending banks, digital payment solutions, etc. Thus, making it promising and easier to trust us.

Writtern By:

Vaishali Bharadwaj
Vaishali is a machine learning enthusiast. Besides machine learning and data storytelling, she likes contemporary art, traveling, and Ice Skating. Since Vaishali was young, she has always enjoyed solving puzzles. So that’s how she looks at big data sets: to Vaishali, it is one big puzzle she wants to solve. Finding patterns nobody else sees is a challenge to her.

 

Enriching eNACH -Impact on NBFCs, Banks, And Even Millennial Financing

India’s lending industry stands at a staggering 156.9 lakh crores, a steep increase of 100% from 2017. But what many miss out on is that of these, only 2% involve microfinance contributions. Instead, commercial and Retail lending dominates 98% of this, with each at 49%.

Although almost every citizen will try to avail of a loan at a point in their life is true. It is an integral part of the economy and even a commoner’s aspirations. But the above data identifies two significant factors. One, customers prefer commercial and retail lending. Two, These areas are potentially untapped and improvable.

Once considered stormy waters, even personal loans are now being navigated at a growth rate 3.8 times higher. This is primarily due to easier access and availing procedures of loans in the country. As a result, even banks and NBFCs are modifying their gameplan to incorporate the novel surge in commercial and retail loans through digital banking.

But then, why is the government stressing on eNACH Mandates? Why are banks and NBFCs preferring the involvement of eNACH?

 

What’s The Real Concern?

As the tide rises, so does the seaweed. Financial Institutions reported an abnormal increase in loan repayment defaulters. Although COVID-19 played a significant role in this, the impact is also attributed to a sense of gullibility. Even genuine customers who accidentally default face the risk of lowered credit ratings.

Entities have increased their safety and security measures to stop defaulting, but that alone won’t cut it. We need an impeccable system of retrieval and processing. Electronic clearing service was a primitive form of this. Even though insufficiently effective, it paved the way to a better solution- eNACH Mandates.

 

The What, Why, And How Of eNACH Mandates.

eNACH mandate is an improved version of the existing NACH mandate. The NACH mandate helps the customer give the collecting agency the right to debit the respective amount from the account for a fixed period at a specific frequency. The agency is required to collect the mandate form from their customers to facilitate the process of auto-debit for personal loan EMIs.

eNACH mandates are the digital versions of paper-based NACH mandates. They allow customers to approve recurring payment charges in a go, digitally. This will enable merchants to collect recurring insurance premiums, loan repayments, investment SIPs, utility bills, etc.

This makes things far easier for customers, NBFCs, and banks. This is why financial institutions now focus more on creating eNACH mandates for loan EMI collection from the borrowers. In addition, innovative companies and pioneer entities in the industry aim to craft solutions engineered to help NBFCs streamline their loan repayment collections while ensuring the benefit for the customer.

 

What Are Its Advantages?

  • Decreased Time- The digitized nature coupled with the automated deduction and reduced human involvement fastens the process. Signing up for loans is also swift with eNACH.
  • Increased Success Rate- loan disbursement and retrieval are more successful as most of the process is automated and the entire process is digitized.
  • Higher Successful Processing Rate- Almost all technical and human errors are negated with a proper digital system in place. This implies that the processing is better and more efficient.
  • Reduced Number of Defaulters- Defaulters find it hard to abscond and not pay. As everything is automated, the agreed-upon amount will be deducted accordingly from their accounts.

 

How Does It Impact And What’s The Bottom Line for eNACH?

It’s pretty much evident that eNACH is the new phase of recurring collections. Banks, NBFCs, and other financial institutions are incorporating it. Even genuine customers prefer eNACH as it is swifter and easier for processing. Millennials form the lion’s share of this as they mostly prefer digitized payments. This is evident because they overwhelmingly choose digital bank accounts over traditional options. The next generations will only soar higher from this point onwards to the digital canopy. Millennial financing is definitely digital.

But all this will be possible only with the proper implementation of eNACH and its methods. For this, you require the best resource provider you can get. We at Signzy can help you with this. With premium resources and products for your digitization and automation, you can better your processes.

 

About Signzy

Signzy is a market-leading platform that is redefining the speed, accuracy, and experience of how financial institutions are onboarding customers and businesses – using the digital medium. The company’s award-winning no-code GO platform delivers seamless, end-to-end, and multi-channel onboarding journeys while offering totally customizable workflows. It gives these players access to an aggregated marketplace of 240+ bespoke APIs that can be easily added to any workflow with simple widgets.

Signzy is enabling ten million+ end customer and business onboarding every month at a success rate of 99% while reducing the speed to market from 6 months to 3-4 weeks. It works with over 240+ FIs globally, including the 4 largest banks in India, a Top 3 acquiring Bank in the US, and has a robust global partnership with Mastercard and Microsoft. The company’s product team is based out of Bengaluru, and it has a strong presence in Mumbai, New York, and Dubai.

Visit www.signzy.com for more information about us.

You can reach out to our team at reachout@signzy.com

Written By:

Mahesh Mohan

Mahesh is a Creative Writer intent on learning and sharing knowledge. He believes Finance is the matrix of functionality, and Technology is evolution. Amalgamate the two, and you get the most dynamic beast in modern civilization- Fintech. He explores this sphere with keen eyes on the terraforming ecosystem. He tries to balance his professional enthusiasm with his passion-driven love for history, mythology, and stories of all forms.

 

Banking And Fintech In The Metaverse Of Finance

Dolce and Gabbana had a peculiar sale last year. Their customers paid $5.7 million to the fashion conglomerate for basically… Nothing. Or that’s what people who do not understand virtual reality would say. In fact, the company sold primarily virtual products for customers to use in the Metaverse. This is why the Metaverse economy experienced retail sales of more than $20 billion with an annual growth rate of around 40%.

This is the mere beginning of using digital assets as a repository of value. It is the beginning of a digital renaissance, encompassing AR, VR, and other digital immersive technologies, which will lead to wide-scale adoption and regulations. Cryptocurrencies will also play a crucial role in this.

Financial institutions must secure their position in this enormous and novel part of the economy by incorporating Metaverse and crypto into their services and business models. This will lead them to a cryptocurrency-fueled metaverse economy.

As the metaverse users increase, financial transactions in the new realm will increase. The government will issue new regulatory guidelines in the coming future. But it is unwise not to adopt early. Banks and institutions should not wait for this. Instead, they should embrace the metaverse economy. Here are some of the ways in which this is possible.

Build And Leverage Trust

Customers usually trust banks more than even the government. This should be utilized in a positive fashion. Tap into the customers’ interests in crypto and digital assets. Despite the standard expectations, 45% of Boomers used cryptocurrencies to make a purchase, compared to the 30% of Zoomers, in 2021.

Mastercard is processing crypto payments and paving the way for other institutions to follow suit. Offering custody services and processing crypto payments help banks prepare for the digital future. Even mortgages, loans, etc., will have digital asset involvement. Banks and banking technology may also leverage their brand identity in user verification and risk management as more peer-to-peer crypto transactors want to trust authentic payment sources.

Metaverse Payment Platforms: Adopt The Boon

Metaverse virtual reality is all set to take over the shopping experience for customers. The fundamental fintech future will be altered to adopt the new paradigm. Financial institutions must process transactions on metaverse payment platforms to accommodate the customers and their needs. A trial pilot by Facebook, the Whatsapp digital wallet is the beginning of this transformation. It offers benefits like zero fees for international transfers, etc. 

These methods have so much potential and versatile applications. For example, such platforms will help fasten transactions and secure the customer’s safety and privacy. Moreover, the institutions can either provide such platforms or integrate the accounts into existing payment apps by utilizing their APIs. But it is noteworthy that most of these apps adapt to phones and screens and ARVR technology.

The metaverse economy is in the infant stage. But once it starts flying, the entire system will soar. This is the ripe time for banks and financial institutions to secure the fintech future. This is where banking technology ups its game a notch with payment platforms.

Integrate With AR And VR Platforms

Providing payment platforms in the new paradigm is essential. But banks need to do more than that. They need to integrate with the metaverse virtual reality. Banking technology must evolve to increase its presence in the Metaverse while ensuring that customers spend more time in it. 

This may be done in multiple ways:

  • Communications with customers- Include AR and VR where it is appropriate.
  • Increase Visual Presence- Transactional experiences should be encapsulating and immersive.
  • Explore the New Age Ads- Advertising is evolving along with technology. Digital billboards, avatars of celebrities, etc.

Banks In The Metaverse

The future of fintech is mainly altering. But it is not unpredictable. We may not be able to say how the Metaverse will affect us or how it will look, but we sure can understand how it can be leveraged. Financial institutions should not wait for regulatory guidelines to adapt to evolving technology. They must learn how to leverage their unique attributes.

Utilizing their attributes to meet the wants and needs of the customers helps and navigate the digital transition successfully. This includes the desire to be a participant in the metaverse and crypto economies. But all these financial institutions and banks need a reliable and trustworthy service source. A resource marketplace where you get all that you require. Signzy can help you with the best customizable APIs and resources with our efficient AI-based rule engine and technology.

About Signzy

Signzy is a market-leading platform that is redefining the speed, accuracy, and experience of how financial institutions are onboarding customers and businesses – using the digital medium. The company’s award-winning no-code GO platform delivers seamless, end-to-end, and multi-channel onboarding journeys while offering totally customizable workflows. It gives these players access to an aggregated marketplace of 240+ bespoke APIs that can be easily added to any workflow with simple widgets.

Signzy is enabling ten million+ end customer and business onboarding every month at a success rate of 99% while reducing the speed to market from 6 months to 3-4 weeks. It works with over 240+ FIs globally, including the 4 largest banks in India, a Top 3 acquiring Bank in the US, and has a robust global partnership with Mastercard and Microsoft. The company’s product team is based out of Bengaluru, and it has a strong presence in Mumbai, New York, and Dubai.

Visit www.signzy.com for more information about us.

You can reach out to our team at reachout@signzy.com

Written By:

Mahesh Mohan

I am a Creative Writer intent on learning and sharing knowledge. I believe Finance is the matrix of functionality, and technology, its evolution. Amalgamate the two, and you get the most dynamic beast in modern civilization- Fintech. I explore this sphere with keen eyes on the terraforming ecosystem. I try to balance my professional enthusiasm with my passion-driven love for history, mythology, and stories of all forms.

 

Exploiting SSTI To Execute Arbitrary Code On Server

Server-side templates create an accessible method for the dynamic generation of HTML code management. But they could also be susceptible to SSTI(server-side template injection). To fully comprehend these mechanics, we must understand what template engines and SSTI attacks are. This can also help execute arbitrary code on the server.

What are Template Engines and SSTI Attacks?

Template engines are created by including multiple specific templates with variable data to create web pages. Server-side template injection attacks can occur when user input is concatenated directly into a template without being sanitized against evil characters. As a result, attackers can inject arbitrary template directives into the template engine, allowing them to manipulate the template engine and, in some cases, gain complete control of the server.

Some of the Template engines are listed below : 

PHP – Smarty, Twigs                                                   

Java – Velocity, Freemaker                                                   

Python – JINJA, Mako, Tornado                                                   

JavaScript – Jade, Rage                                                   

Ruby – Liquid                                                    

 

Jinja: A Python Based Template Engine

Jinja is a Python template engine written as a self-contained open source project to create HTML, XML, or other markup formats returned to the user via an HTTP response. It is also referred to as “Jinja2”.

So why Jinja? 

Today Jinja is the most widely used Python-based template engine and is opted by configuration management tools Ansible and SaltStack and the static site generator Pelican to generate output files. Given its vast adaptation, we will have Jinja as a reference to understand how the SSTI attack works. 

The Vulnerable Code Snippet

 

 

Here, a part of the Template is dynamically generated using the form. Because template syntax is directly processed at the server-side without any filtration, an attacker possibly can inject a malicious payload inside the ‘name’ argument where user input is being placed within the template expression. 

Identifying The Vulnerability

As shown in the code snippet, the input we’ll provide will be rendered precisely by the template engine. 

So, if we put a mathematical expression to identify the vulnerability, if it is being rendered by template engine or not. 

 

 

 

Input value- {{7*7}} returned ‘Hello 49!’. So it is confirmed that the backend is using jinja2.

Python depends on specific modules like ‘sys,’ which includes other dependencies such as the ‘OS’ module; we will target the ‘OS’ module here for exploitation. However, the exploitation and getting shell would not be that easy here as Jinja does not support the import statement. 

Our very first goal here is to identify the template engine used by the target application, for which the TPLMAP tool can be leveraged. With numerous sandbox escape strategies, the TPLMAP tool aids the exploitation of Code Injection and Server-Side Template Injection vulnerabilities to get access to the underlying operating system.

Exploiting The Vulnerability

So as explained above, the import statement does not work in the case of Jinja; hence we will use some parts of code that are accessible to us, often called Gadgets, to achieve remote code execution.

 

The below payload will execute the malicious code which is inside the ‘popen’ function:

 

The above payload is explained in the below fig:

 

The RCE is achieved as shown below:

 

Workaround and Remediation

  • Templates should not be created using user-controlled input. To pass user input to the Template, use template parameters. Sanitize the data before processing it by removing any unwanted or potentially hazardous characters before putting it into the templates. This decreases the likelihood of your templates being maliciously explored.
  • Malicious code execution is inescapable if permitting certain dangerous characters to render specific elements of a template is a business requirement. Then encapsulating the template environment in a docker container is almost certainly the safer option. With this option, you may leverage Docker security to establish a safe environment that prevents dangerous actions.

 

About Signzy

Signzy is a market-leading platform that is redefining the speed, accuracy, and experience of how financial institutions are onboarding customers and businesses – using the digital medium. The company’s award-winning no-code GO platform delivers seamless, end-to-end, and multi-channel onboarding journeys while offering totally customizable workflows. It gives these players access to an aggregated marketplace of 240+ bespoke APIs that can be easily added to any workflow with simple widgets.

Signzy is enabling ten million+ end customer and business onboarding every month at a success rate of 99% while reducing the speed to market from 6 months to 3-4 weeks. It works with over 240+ FIs globally, including the 4 largest banks in India, a Top 3 acquiring Bank in the US, and has a robust global partnership with Mastercard and Microsoft. The company’s product team is based out of Bengaluru, and it has a strong presence in Mumbai, New York, and Dubai.

Visit www.signzy.com for more information about us.

You can reach out to our team at reachout@signzy.com

Written By:

Ankit Pandey

Ankit is a cyber geek currently working in the information security team at Signzy. Ankit holds eWPTX, eCPPTv2 & CEH certifications. Ankit is also an active member of Synack Red Team actively hacking and securing companies globally.

 

 

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