Fintechs need to adopt an end-to-end approach to ensure maximum data protection: Ganesh Srinivasan

The BFSI sector has gone through a dramatic makeover with the rising digitalisation. This has not only provided an impetus to the fintech companies but also opened a plethora of opportunities through the adoption of new-gen technologies like AI, chatbots, automation, and more. To shed light on the subject, Ganesh Srinivasan, Vice President – Compliance, Volante Technologies interacted with Express Computer in an exclusive interview.

This year 2023 is considered to be an even bigger year for the fintech companies. What is your take on this?

The fintech revolution has been going on at a rampant rate for the last few years. According to a  study by EY, it is anticipated that the Indian FinTech market will generate $200 billion in revenue and $1 trillion in AUM by 2030. This is a significant number that has emerged as a result of the digital-first approach adopted by the Indian industry. 

With a heavy reliance on modern digital technologies including Cloud, Machine Learning, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Edge Computing, etc. of which AI is a major force defining the future of industries across sectors. The BFSI sector is moving from the traditional system of operating and has been investing heavily in AI and automation to adapt the technological disruption and cater to changing customer expectations. Along with Artificial Intelligence, Cloud technology is also setting benchmarks and has extensively been adopted by financial institutions driving the growth and expansion of fintech companies. 

Moving forward in 2023, we can expect the coming years to be crucial for fintech companies with the expanding market, forthcoming RBI guidelines, and digital laws by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. With new technological innovations keep creating disruptions and shaping consumer behaviour, we can expect the coming years to provide more opportunities for fintech.  

How has digitalisation impacted Volante after the Covid pandemic? What are some of the latest technology upgrades you’ve implemented in the firm?

The global pandemic has acted as a catalyst for most industries to accelerate digitalisation and incorporate technological tools into their operational framework. Volante has always been an early adopter of technological solutions and has looked towards bringing innovation to our functioning. For us at Volante Technologies, the shift to a remote working culture was quick and effective as the intent and integration capability were always there.  

In the recent past, we have heavily relied on the latest technology and expanded the existing cloud infrastructure to accommodate remote working and sailed through the ‘new normal’. We have also enhanced the security infrastructure at our organisation with more monitoring tools and have expanded remote connectivity bandwidth for improved productivity. Technology and consistent innovation has been a major part of our organisation and moving forward we will continue to rely on it.

In your opinion, what are some of the major risks and challenges that fintech companies face, in terms of cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is one of the most significant precursors for fintech companies as the success of the platform and good customer experience are largely dependent on the security and encryption provided by the companies. In recent times, the aspect of cybersecurity is discussed extensively with institutions facing pertinent challenges leading to risk and security scares. 

Some of the major risks and challenges mapped for fintech organisations are ransom attacks, opensource risks, and cloud security threats. In the age of technological disruption, ransomware attacks are becoming more sophisticated and advanced, posing a challenge for experts to identify and neutralise the threat. Similarly, vulnerabilities identified in opensource and third-party software have been on the rise along with the risks associated with cloud security. These are some of the major threats for fintech and can affect the service levels of the platforms if not addressed carefully and treated with strong caution.    

Fintech platforms deal with the critical data of their customers. Thus, cybersecurity becomes of paramount importance. So, how do you ensure data security and privacy? 

In order to ensure maximum security and data protection, the fintech platforms must take an end-to-end approach to address the data security and privacy pillar along the operational framework. It is important to protect individual data and not just the digital infrastructure of the firm and hence it is potent to implement data security and privacy by design. 

Along with designing the protection measures, it is equally important for platforms to adhere to the regulatory requirements and guidelines of the government. Data plays a central role in the financial industry and with discussed threats from third-party integrations, financial institutions must integrate layers of security to tackle potential threats and ensure data protection. In the coming years, we can expect regulatory measures such as the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill to further serve the users with added security to boost cyber security and prevent data fraud. 

Being a fintech, the majority of your business runs online on digital platforms. How do you manage to keep DNS attacks at bay?

Today, the fintech industry is moving at a rapid pace and to grow along, it is important for any fintech firms to equip themselves with knowledge and evolving trends of the sectorial industry as well as the overall technology domain. It not only helps the companies to proactively instate counter-measures to navigate through advanced threats but also continuously modify the security framework in place. 

The key to neutralising DNS threats is to keep up to date with the new types of attacks coming into the picture. Along with the necessary proactivity and upgradation, fintech firms can resolve the threats by following the prevalent norms and best practices of the industry.  

Share a few best practices that fintech companies should adopt to make the best of their existing cybersecurity infrastructure.

One of the most important practices to instate for fintech companies is to engrain cybersecurity as a culture at the firm. The elements of security must be an automatic plug while designing the operations and other frameworks. In order to do so, organisations must exercise constant training and bring awareness through cybersecurity-themed campaigns.

Another practice for companies to follow is to be prepared and equipped with an effective response plan for any potential threat. A well-tested and updated response plan can bring the damage to the bare minimum and bring stability to the system in a much lesser time period. The application of AI and automation of security is a good way to bring down the human error factor and create an efficient cybersecurity measure. 

Things may go wrong but readiness for uncertainty and engraining such culture is critical for organisations to enhance their security infrastructure and ultimately provide optimum service to the customers.

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