Keeping Your Money Safe in a Cash-free Society

Technology is continually changing and impacting the way we live our lives. Nowhere is this more evident than in the ways we manage money.

Changes over the past decade allow individuals to check bank balances, pay bills, and transfer money via smartphones while companies can manage finances completely online. But with digitization, we face a spate of novel threats to cybersecurity.

The Impact of Cybercrime

Gone are the days when the biggest threat to banks was a masked robber entering the premises. Banks and financial institutions are constantly facing cyberattacks that result in a loss of data or assets, leading clients and the markets to quickly lose confidence.

Almost a quarter of all global cyberattacks are directed at the banking and finance industry with the average cost to a firm running at $18.5 million. As digital and mobile banking become more popular, banks will be increasingly exposed.

One such attack was the breach of Capital One’s systems in July 2019. The result was the theft of personal data from more than 100 million customers and a growing realization of just how vulnerable the industry is.

A Changing Approach to Finance

Thanks to Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, streamlined and automated systems are making the banking process simpler and faster than ever for both financial institutions and individuals.

As we move towards an ever-more cashless society, mobile banking is set to overtake desktop and telephone as customers’ preferred banking method. But with fraudsters looking for loopholes in the processes connected with activating or registering using a mobile device, it’s time to get smart with security measures.

Is Biometrics the Future?

To keep data and finances safe, the industry is reliant on technology to improve security and it looks like biometric is one way forward. Fingerprints and facial recognition software is set to become the norm in the hope of moving us away from passwords.

But are our fingerprints really safe from hackers? It would appear not as demonstrated at GeekPWN 2019 in Shanghai. Chinese hackers demonstrated how they could unlock any smartphone fingerprint lock in just 20 minutes.

Perhaps the answer is to use a number of different methods to check for security. Facial recognition or eye scans are available on some devices, but for many users, these are still unavailable. So the secondary check is a passcode or password which, as we have already seen, is the loophole that hackers managed to constantly breach.

Encrypted Data is Safe Data

Banks and financial institutions are learning that they need to invest money into cybersecurity and do all they can to plug existing loopholes in their systems. However, it’s safe to say that hackers will never stop trying to find new ways to steal user information and assets. As soon as one loophole is closed, another is often found, leaving investors and customers open to fraud.

One approach is to encrypt all data transmissions across all processes in financial institutions. Dedicated VPN-enabled networks can essentially create a bubble to mitigate the risk factor. Individuals can follow suit by always using VPN technology when banking on mobile or desktop.