Data Security - The New Focus Area for BFSIs

Varun, a master’s degree holder in Data Science Engi- neering from the prestigious BITS Pilani. He is a growth-driven industry professional with over 17 years of experience across diverse technology verticals.

In a recent interaction with Siliconindia, he shared his insights on the importance of data security in today’s finance industry, key strategies, and many other as- pects. Below are a few selected extracts from the ex- clusive interview -

How has the regulatory landscape around data security among finance companies evolved in recent times?

Of late, the regulatory bodies and policymakers in India have been very proactive in terms of issuing the data security related frameworks and guidelines. Last year, we have witnessed two major policies being brought into effect - Digital Personal Data Protection Act (DPDP) by the Indian government and the IT Outsourcing Policy by the RBI. This way, both government and the regulatory bodies are aiming to both empower the customers and also bring-in transparency in terms of how customer data is being handled by organizations. For finance companies to successfully navigate through the regulatory landscape, they must have a clear understanding of the latest market dynamics which have led the regulators to frame those policies.

In terms of ensuring data security, every BFSI today have stringent data protection and incident response systems in place to effectively manage all security related aspects

For instance, the KYC process for starting a business was mostly physical and had its own disadvantages such as copies of identity documents such as Aadhar and PAN being illegally circulated. Today, with the advent EKYC, the entire process is digitized and even validated with an OTP, minimizing the chances of any kind of malicious activities to the fullest. This way, the ecosystem has undergone a thorough metamorphosis over the last few years and is helping finance organizations to not only gather more data points, but also be secure.

Suggest a few effective ways in which BFSIs can ensure data security while offering their services

Firstly, companies must keep security as a key aspect of their organization's strategy right from the initial stages of their product development and how they gather data. The next immediate step is formulating guideline around securing the data within your databases and controlling access to those databases. Once this is done, companies must build a risk management and governance frameworks around it. Most importantly, companies must ensure to not only implement these practices, but also continuously monitor them and evaluate their efficacy. Lastly, it is extremely critical for BFSIs to facilitate their employees to work efficiently while making sure that every necessary policy or regulation is adhered to. For this, companies must have regular training programs for their employees to stay abreast with the latest tech advancements, market trends and regulatory changes.

In terms of ensuring data security, every BFSI today have stringent data protection and incident response systems in place to effectively manage all security related aspects. Also, every log that is being generated by the digital systems is analyzed and monitored 24x7 on a real time basis by the internal security teams. For instance, while accessing any critical system or application, if an employee enters wrong password for two times and then enters the correct password on the third attempt, an automated alert is immediately sent to the concerned security manager to identify that individual and verify his/her credibility.

Throw some light on the major challenges finance industry leaders face in terms of technology adoption

Until very recently, the mortgage industry mostly relied on pre-built products such as Loan Management Systems which were sourced from the vendors. Later, various processes were built into it according to organizational requirements and then used to operate their business. As a result, companies were very much dependent on the vendors for their change cycles of their systems, which were very slow depending on the current season. Also, the quality of resources and their availability with the vendors was very unreliable, bringing-in a lot of uncertainties in terms of accomplishing various finance related tasks. Additionally, another major challenge that many finance industry leaders are facing in recent times is staying apace with the rapidly evolving technology landscape and adopting the latest technologies into their processes. Thus, many finance organizations are now increasingly employing in-house technology teams to innovate new products and solutions that are equipped with all the latest tech features and functionalities.

What are some of the key advantages that Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is offering to BFSIs?

Earlier, mortgage loans processing was a very time-consuming and lengthy process which was mostly done manually using numerous physical documents. Today, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is not only taking care of the entire governance part of the loan approval process but is also very user friendly in terms of integrating it with existing systems and applications. Additionally, OCI is capable of being easily and securely integrated with other cloud providers and third-party vendors. As a result, BFSIs are now able to securely automate most of their critical processes, which earlier consumed a lot of time and manpower.