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CyberSecurity: A challenge for everyone, key takeaways from Singapore FinTech Fest 2017

DIGITAL VENTURES December 04, 2017 7:06 AM


Technology is a double-edged sword and a concern for tech users such as ourselves is the cyber attack. It exists with and without our awareness in parallel with the use of technology. This involves cybercrime with financial objectives such as hacking online transactions or to expose confidential information and benefiting from them. This can bring about enormous damage and even affecting a country. A familiar case is Phishing which is fake emails in disguise as emails from credible companies such as PayPal. The email will inform users that they need to access the system and provide confidential information. The email will seem similar to official emails from the company. Then, they will provide a link to a fake website that will lure users to disclose passwords or credit card information. This is one example of several other types of cybercrime.

The key to payment technology development is CyberSecurity as financial matters are criminal’s favorites.

Using technology to bring traditional payments to mobile or digital payment has provided users with many conveniences. Today, mobile payment users greatly increased. In 2012, China’s mobile payment amounts to 80 billion USD or around 2 trillion THB. However, in 2016, the figure increased to 2.9 trillion USD or 94 trillion THB. Although this is an opportunity, it has flaws, especially in terms of security. Criminals are increasingly looking to attack smartphone users as they are a widespread tool with low security. Also, users tend to forget the risks that may occur from using smartphones.

Therefore, vigilant steps need to be incorporated. CYREN and F-Secure indicated that Androids are attacked by malware at an average of 5,768 times per day and 99% of smartphone malware is specially designed to attack Androids. Yet, this does not mean that the Apple iOS is safe. Symantec indicates that the Apple iOS system has been attacked at an increasing rate of 82% in 2013. Some countries have assigned departments to monitor and issue policies to prevent such problems. However, such measures may not reach its optimum capabilities if users lack self-awareness. A simple process that users can do to prevent cyber attacks is using complex passwords and keep them confidential. Also, constantly passwords change is recommended. Moreover, after every mobile payment, always recheck the receipts and remaining balance. It is advisable to update tech trends, seek ways to secure your information and be mindful of suggestions when connecting mobile phones to the internet.

This is the importance of CyberSecurity. Nations are proactive about this matter as it highly affects technology development. This is especially true with FinTech as it involves money. This is why policies regarding CyberSecurity have been implemented to protect users and equip them with guidelines. Recently, Digital Ventures attended the FinTech Festival 2017 organized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) during November 13-17, 2017. They mentioned about CyberSecurity in “Cybersecurity Policy Challenges 2025 and Beyond” by Paul Nicholas, Senior Director of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft. He shared about the challenges in terms of policies that will tackle these issues in 5-10 years.

Challenges in cybersecurity policies, building confidence by 2025

Paul Nicholas states that today, over 90 nations have launched cybersecurity laws, yet the number of cybercrime and its victims remains high. This is because no matter how resourceful the regulations are, criminals can always develop better skills to commit crimes. At the event, Paul mentioned factors that are the challenges regarding cybersecurity regulations.

  1. The central government must take matters seriously to close as many loopholes in cybersecurity regulations as they can.

Every related party, including government and organizations, must issue the most extensive regulations possible. Today, G20 nations have made a move. G20 is the group of financial ministers, central bank executives in large-economy nations from 19 countries and the EU (England, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Russia, USA, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey). They have launched over 50 cybersecurity schemes with 35 still to be announced. Their objective is to develop regulations that are the strongest and most efficient.

  1. Consider the security of transformative technology to create fast changes that have widespread effects.

Transformative Technology such as AI, Blockchain, and Cloud are the main priorities. They will bring about significant change and development, thus, they may also bring great threats. Therefore, issuing security schemes for such technology needs to primarily address the security of the use and risks that they may have to the country. For example, as AI can solve several problems in supply chain, but AI will also reduce a significant number of jobs which will greatly affect the labor structure in the country. In the future, regulations for transformative technology should carefully consider this matter.

  1. Prevent intrusion of personal information and set rules that involve international conflicts.

Today, conflicts among nations are quite worrisome. For example, the U.S. National Security Agency unveiled that 30-40 nations have the ability to access personal information of people in the cyber world. More importantly, these nations are backed by their government. The reason behind such actions is because they need information relating to war, hence, extreme caution needs to be implemented. The government must take regulating and monitoring issues seriously.

This is an overview of the awareness of cybersecurity. In terms of regulations, several countries are well-aware and give much importance to the matter. This is because a weak cybersecurity may welcome cybercrime which will affect not only the nations but the world. At the user level, we must always keep updated with technology news such as new cybercrimes and try our best to protect our personal information. We need to protect ourselves from becoming the victim.