The financial and banking industry is among the primary targets of any crime, including cyber. It is literally where the money is. The client information that banks store is also of interest because it could be used to commit identity theft and fraud. To counter these threats, the banking industry needs to secure its communications.
At the same time, a successful breach costs companies in the sector much more than the sums of money they will potentially have to restore. The reputational damage from the implication that a bank is ill-equipped to protect its customers’ assets could cost it its business. Nevertheless, breaches do happen with alarming frequency:
- Financial institutions account for 35% of all data breaches.
- 68% of companies in the sector report they have been hacked at one point or another.
- Banks rarely announce the cost of breaches, but several cases have shown it can be in the millions, even tens of millions US dollars.
Financial and banking institutions have responded accordingly to the threats by investing in cybersecurity. Companies in the sector have also been at the forefront of adopting security practices such as link encryption, two-factor authentication, EMV chips, etc. However, the increasing popularity of smartphones and mobile banking services has introduced a new pain point for the industry, related to the inherent security flaws in mobile devices.
How the banking and financial industry can better secure its data
Due to the essence of banking and financial companies’ business, every part of it is a potential target for cybercriminals. The latter, in turn, have adopted increasingly sophisticated, multi-step attacks that use an arsenal of different techniques to extract pieces of data from various points. Once pieced together, this data can be used to inflict severe financial damage.
Protecting data from such attacks calls for a holistic approach to cybersecurity which leaves no attack surface uncovered. Communications are a piece of the banking industry’s security puzzle, but an important piece nonetheless – especially when it comes to securing conversations between client and company. A communication strategy in the sector must check the following boxes:
- Strong encryption to guarantee that communications are not compromised.
- Reliable authentication practices to ensure the legitimacy of service requests.
- Securing sensitive data from malware or phishing scheme attacks .
The solutions Secure Group offers
Secure Group is a provider of encrypted solutions for secure mobile communications. We have a range of products that offer strong resistance against online and offline hacking attempts, as well as enterprise-level solutions that can facilitate secure communications within an institution.
- Secure Pack. A suite of apps for end-to-end encrypted communications over several channels: email, chat, and VoIP. They combine strong end-to-end encryption with sophisticated authentication procedures to counter man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. This way, the two involved parties can always be sure the other side is indeed who they claim they are. The encryption, in turn, prevents the messages being read by eavesdroppers, even if they are intercepted.
- Secure Phone. A specialized device built exclusively for secure communications. It comes with disabled Internet browsing, disabled Google Services, no Play Store, and several modifications of the Android OS going as deep as the system kernel, which rule out the possibility of malware infections. Secure Phone’s device and app storage are 100% encrypted, and it uses the Secure Pack suite for communication instead of regular phone calls and text messages.
- Secure Administration System (SAS). A mobile device management (MDM) platform, which can remotely micromanage every functionality of Secure Phone – assigning specific policies to a single device, or to a group of phones. For example, it allows you to turn off the camera of a specific user’s phone. In a hypothetical scenario when an employee is in the presence of documents they should not have access to, this will prevent them from taking pictures. The same level of control extends to the phone’s USB, microphone, Bluetooth, etc. It could be used to install and uninstall specific apps on the device as well.
- Self-hosted enterprise solution. By default, the abovementioned services run using Secure Group’s network infrastructure. However, we understand why a company dealing with high-value confidential information would prefer to avoid entrusting communications to a third-party infrastructure. This is why we have designed the abovementioned solutions to be deployable on companies’ own network infrastructure.