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Automating Cybersecurity For Fintech


Former Industry Principal at Infosys, Suhas is a Senior VP at Aujas responsible for scaling Managed Detection & Response (MDR) and Cloud Security Service.

Fintech is at the forefront of digitizing the entire banking services suite and has been responsible for making digital banking the new norm. The sector has disrupted traditional banking services by integrating digital channels to offer omnichannel experiences. The rise in digital adoption has not escaped cybercriminals, especially when fintech firms are digitizing and storing customer data or information. The issue of cybersecurity is now looming large, more than ever before. Some of the critical fintech challenges include complex vulnerabilities, insecure cloud environments, lack of automation, human errors, digital identity cloning, compliance issues, data security, and money laundering. Key attack vectors in the fintech sector causing such risk include Distributed Denial of Service, spear phishing, ransomware, mobile malware, insider threats, and IoT exploitations.

Today's complex attack vectors can compromise an organization in minutes. In legacy security frameworks, the gap between the speed of compromise and the speed at which it is detected is vast, making it one of the main failures while investigating a breach.

Managed Detection and Response, or MDR, transcends traditional security models by accelerating the threat detection and response time. The services include Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) for security monitoring, but the value proposition increases significantly with overarching security intelligence, threat hunting, endpoint threat detection, user behavior, and security analytics. MDR leverages machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to investigate, and auto contains threats before launching an orchestrated response. In addition to 24x7 monitoring of the IT infrastructure, MDR providers offer holistic analysis, incident triaging, forensics, and response recommendations.

Banks can use MDR to implement a comprehensive, scalable, and automated security framework to stay one step ahead of a sophisticated attack's velocity.

The scope of the framework includes: Compliance guidelines: PCI DSS, RBI, IDRBT, UID-AI, NPCI, Credit Agencies, Payment Processors.

Infrastructure security: Configuration & Patch Management, VAPT, Anti Malware, Firewalls, SIEM/SOAR.

Secure banking apps: Web app security, source code review, DAST, anti-phishing, WAF, access management.

Digital banking: App security, customer aware-ness, device security, identity management, secure wallets.

Neo banking security: Payment platform security, secure aggregators/gateways, API and fintech plat-forms.

Open banking security: API security, API management platform security, third party API & risk management.

Payment device security: Device security, payment device & app management.

Next gen fintech security: Cloud, RPA & Big Data security; Analytics, predictive cyber fraud management.

Security lifecycle automation: Cyber Defense Center for 24x7 monitoring along with automated AI-ML threat detection & response to take on insider and external threats.

MDR services can detect an attack in seconds and prevent a breach. It can automate fintech defenses against web-based attacks, reduce ransomware occurrences, increase deployment of security automation tools, mitigate insider threats, ensure 24x7 monitoring, leverage analytics, enhance security governance, improve perimeter controls, and implement data loss prevention methods. MDR along with threat hunting capabilities, can secure enterprise infrastructure by gaining context and insights to enable faster detection and response.

Banks can use MDR to implement a comprehensive, scalable, and automated security framework to stay one step ahead of a sophisticated attack's velocity

MDR services offer automated threat detection, monitoring, and response capabilities for different technology infrastructure layers (network, web, cloud, endpoint, IoT devices, applications, and data). MDR follows a 3-phased approach towards cyber defense through the entire lifecycle of the attack.

Threat Identification: To proactively identify threats 24x7 and eliminate false positives. The aim is to secure digital assets, networks, web, data, cloud, IoT devices, email, endpoints, application, platform, people, and process.

Threat Detection & Response: Use advanced security technologies to detect anomalies and respond to vectors using rule-based detection, threat analytics, deception technologies, incident response, EDR, UEBA, and packet capture module.

Breach Mitigation: Quickly recover compromised devices and assets through prioritization, forensics, documentation, recovery planning, etc. and thereby improving the security posture for future threat in-stances.

The MDR architecture provides complete visibility into the enterprise infrastructure. Any potential threat is identified faster, and a threat response plan is initiated. The response plan refers to managing risks, containing threats, and defeating attacks. It is not a reactive mechanism where damage is high; rather, it is an approach to swiftly contain and defeat attacks within the enterprise network while minimizing the effect of the breach and enabling effective recovery.

MDR service providers have resource strength that includes engineering teams, an elite group of threat hunters, product specialists, architects, and forensic experts ready to monitor and mitigate known and unknown threats 24/7. The benefits of MDR include early threat detection, alert prioritizations, rapid incident investigation and response, and threat prediction through behavioral analysis.

MDR must be an integral part of fintech operations to improve threat visibility, increase cost savings, and sustain business continuity. It can enable effective detection and response to multi-dimensional, automated, and sophisticated attacks. By following best security practices and leveraging the next-gen tools and technologies such as MDR, fintech firms can defend customers and employees from cybercriminals and ensure everyone involved in the fintech ecosystem is secure and safe.

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