What Are FinTech Start-Ups Doing To Face Cybersecurity Challenges?

Online security is more crucial for businesses today than it ever has been. With more than 24,000 malicious mobile apps being blocked every day and ransomware attacks rising up to and above 350% annually, ensuring that a business has the measures in place to protect themselves and their data against potential attacks is a must.

For FinTech start-ups, the potential threat of lost financial data and consumer details could devastate them, costing, on average, $2.4 million per malware attack on a company. Some entrepreneurs have even taken to producing their own cybersecurity companies to cater to demand, including the likes of DarkTrace, Digital Shadows, Tanium and Zeguro. From investing in cybersecurity stocks to introducing multi-layer security, here’s how FinTech startups are facing the cybersecurity challenges at hand.

What Issues Are They Facing? 

Following recent security breaches in the finance industry, including an arrest after a Capital One data breach saw private details of over 106 million people stolen. While arrests have been made, public concern remains heavy around the company’s security measures, particularly when they stated that the ‘hacker’ had been able to exploit a configuration vulnerability. This is just one of the issues that financial institutions are facing and start-ups, in particular, are vulnerable to most.

  • Data Security Breaches

Data security breaches are the most pressing concern for any business currently, not just those in the financial industry. Leading financial institutions, including the likes of Equifax, JP Morgan, Korea Credit Bureau and Citi Financial, have fallen prey to data attacks, some of which have affected millions of consumers around the globe.

  • Security Protocols

Establishing and managing the right security protocols is the first step to ensuring a business remains secure, particularly when it comes to the encryption of data. FinTech start-ups are turning to tunnelling protocols that are used in VPNs in order to encrypt financial technology data, including the likes of PPTP, OpenVPN, SSTEP and more. 

  • Compliance Regulations

One of the biggest things holding back the financial technology industry is compliance regulations. Rarely do governments and agencies keep up with the level of progression in the industry and for this reason, maintaining security in light of technically outdated rules can prove tricky. However, by following the regulations as they should, this can work in a start-ups favour, showcasing them as trustworthy, but it’s vital not to sacrifice their security in order to get into the market. 

  • Vulnerabilities And Human Error

One of the greatest vulnerabilities facing any company, not just FinTech, is human error. Mistaking phishing emails for the real thing, pressing the wrong key, even deleting out important files by accident can all lead to issues in security and while measures can be taken to automate simple processes, the best bet for FinTech start-ups in these situations is to ensure adequate training and risk management is in place.

The Areas They Need To Pinpoint

In order to fully secure a FinTech business, there are a number of areas that any one company can focus on in order to protect themselves and their clients. 

  • Cloud Security

Cloud services are becoming more and more common in the world of financial technology but require different security measures due to more related vulnerabilities. Security measures need to be adaptable to allow for growth of the network, and additional segmentation can be used to improve security and data visibility within the business itself.

  • Automated Detection

For a fully integrated and intelligent system, you can introduce automated threat detection and management to ensure even the smallest potential threats are captured and prevented. Through machine learning, these security tools can better keep pace with changing cybersecurity landscapes without the need for constant updates and internal management. 

  • Application Security 

Most businesses will rely on applications to host and manage data as needed, but by doing so, this becomes a core focus of attackers. Application security should always be a core part of the protection and safety process, ensuring that any real-time data passing through remains secure. VPNs and web application firewalls are typically sufficient, but threat intelligence can also be used to identify, prevent and mitigate unknown threats and repair potential vulnerabilities.

FinTech is a growing industry and as such, can come under fire for cybersecurity concerns. As a result, more and more financial technology businesses are investing in cybersecurity measures to keep data secure utilising some of the top technologies available. Machine learning, automation and various standard security measures can all be useful to any business, not just start-ups, providing adaptable and scalable security across the board.


  • Editorial Director of the The Fintech Times

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