Security: safeguarding the back end is essential

By Max Genaev and Aleksandr Belyaev, Senior Developers at ClauseMatch
on 1 June , 2018
Why it is essential to ensure multiple protection working with financial institutions
It is no secret that security is at the top of the agenda for financial institutions today given the need to protect corporate and customer data from breaches, as well as comply with a continuous flow of new cybersecurity regulations.

The increase in the number of security breaches across the financial services industry over the last few years has resulted in a number of regulatory entities across Europe, the UK, the US and Asia introducing new rules and regulations related to security and data breaches. These regulations are designed to ensure proper security measures are in place and that sensitive customer data is protected.

New security regulations require continual assurance of critical applications and financial services firm need to understand the impact of these new regulations, in order to remain compliant and avoid paying large fines.

According to a report on cybersecurity breaches from Websense Security Labs, financial services firms are 300% more likely to fall victim to a cybersecurity attack than businesses in other industries. The amount of sensitive information at stake, including account and personal identification data, combined with increased technological vulnerabilities, make the financial sector an attractive target for criminals. In recent years, we have seen cyberattacks against financial organisations increase dramatically in size, number and sophistication. In 2017, the number of cybersecurity attacks against financial firms reported to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rose by 80%.

Massive security breaches across the industry have moved firms to wake up to the threats that exist and take security extremely seriously. The effects of a security breach can be devastating, both in terms of revenue loss and reputation and this is now acknowledged by the majority of financial institutions across the world. Customer trust and long-term growth both depend on security and no organisation can afford to have its security compromised. It is therefore paramount that financial institutions have the right security protocols in place to stay secure and avoid data breaches.

Safeguarding the back end

The back end is the data and technology repository that exists behind the scenes and includes databases and applications often running on remote or cloud-based servers. Given the scope and sensitivity of the data stored here, keeping cybercriminals away from this data is critical. Without robust back end security infrastructure, a firm could be at immediate risk of a major cyberattack, so it is a top priority for financial institutions today.

ClauseMatch: an advanced approach to back end security

At ClauseMatch, we take security very seriously, using some of the most advanced back end security features in the industry and on a daily basis check that we are fully compliant with all relevant security regulations.

Before launching ClauseMatch at a top-tier global bank, our platform underwent a complete security audit. This involved anti-hacking checks, social engineering checks, web services tests, and an audit of all known types of security attacks. And going forward, ClauseMatch will continue to undergo this kind of complete security audit once a year, to ensure that it offers the highest possible level of security and is ISO 27001 certified.

ClauseMatch uses advanced storage technology to help protect financial institutions from security threats. Unlike standard cloud technology, ClauseMatch storage technology has a number of sophisticated security features and settings.

For example, ClauseMatch has a single sign-on into the platform. This means that there is only one access point, which is the firm. ClauseMatch also applies SSL protection and applies captions. Traffic interception is impossible. Authentication of users is carried out through the headers and captions, users only work inside this protocol.

ClauseMatch also uses Amazon Glacier servers, which are large-scale, cloud-based storage servers that comply with the data retention requirements of the SEC and the CFTC.

"When properly configured, these servers provide integrated control codes and other relevant capabilities that prevent stored records from being deleted, overwritten or altered until the specified retention period has expired." - Max Genaev, System architect at ClauseMatch comments.

Each ClauseMatch client has its own server, meaning that each client's data is stored in a separate, highly-protected environment. If the server is accessed, all staff are notified immediately. Data recording and data backup are two other key areas in which ClauseMatch provides state-of-the-art protection. All user actions on the platform are tracked and recorded and this information is passed on to the firm immediately. In relation to data backup, ClauseMatch helps financial companies comply with the strict requirements that regulatory bodies enforce. Backup takes place every hour, with all systems performing a full audit of changes. All user actions are tracked and recorded, although user data is not entered into the log, in order to provide user anonymity. We call this 'Data Protection.' Our backup is WORM (write once, read many) compliant and also complies with Advanced Encryption Standard 256 (AES 256). All the data is encrypted twice: first by ClauseMatch, and then following up by Amazon.

ClauseMatch also uses advanced whitelisting technology to retain a list of permitted addresses and stop unauthorised users accessing the platform. With financial firms remaining a top target for cybercriminals and cybersecurity attacks continually becoming more sophisticated, there are many challenges that financial institutions face in relation to security. Firms need to ensure that their data is fully protected at all times, and also ensure that they remain compliant with new regulations.

"Safeguarding the back end is now more important than ever before as there is a lot at stake, both in terms of reputation and revenue loss. To mitigate these challenges, it is essential to have the right systems in place." - Alex Belyaev, ClauseMatch Senior Java Back End engineer adds.

All the above-mentioned taken into account, it is still very important for the users at banks to consider security as personal responsibility. This should be taken as a rule - not to leave your laptop with opened documents unattended.

Ensuring security takes multiple professional efforts but it is also as simple as this.

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