Mitigating Risk in Fintech: Dwell Time and Accuracy

Fintech applications handle vast amounts of sensitive personal and financial data. Where there’s valuable data, there is risk of a cyber attack. The consequences of a potential breach in this sector are higher than most, including reputational harm, legal repercussions and loss of customer trust. Attacks against fintech companies are always increasing. Between 2020 and 2022 alone, the number of fintech firms facing ransomware attacks in a one year span ballooned from 34 to 64%.

Financial institutions and tech companies are susceptible to many different forms of cyber attack. The most common include DDos attacks, cross-site scripting, SQL injection and supply chain attacks (targeting third party systems). While these attacks are all different in nature, strategies for mitigating risk from these attacks can be similar. The best way to mitigate cyber risk across the board is to limit dwell-time for attackers and increase accuracy in security measures. 

In Fintech security, there is an intricate interplay between dwell time and accuracy. Achieving the right balance is essential. Security teams must fine-tune their practices, leveraging automation and advanced tools while maintaining a proactive security culture. Read on to explore how we address these challenges and help fintech companies reduce risk with the push of a button.

Dwell Time: Silent But Deadly

Dwell time refers to the duration between a security breach occurring and its detection and containment. In Fintech, a prolonged dwell time can be catastrophic. The longer an attacker remains undetected, the more damage they can inflict.

Prolonged dwell time can result in data exfiltration, financial theft, and reputation damage. The fallout from such breaches can have lasting consequences, affecting customers and regulatory compliance. Several factors contribute to dwell time challenges, including insufficient monitoring, incomplete incident response strategies, and the evolving nature of cyber threats.

Real-time threat detection solutions are instrumental in reducing dwell time. They enable organizations to identify and respond to security incidents promptly. Automating incident response procedures to common threats drastically cuts dwell time and helps contain incidents swiftly.

Accuracy Challenges for Fintech

Accuracy is the first line of defense in safeguarding sensitive financial data. Inaccuracies can lead to vulnerabilities that malicious actors could exploit, potentially resulting in data breaches and financial losses. Outdated or incomplete threat intelligence can lead to perimeter gaps which allow attackers to land and expand. 

One common inaccuracy is the misconfiguration of security settings. This can happen when a web application firewall (WAF) is left on detect-mode to avoid productivity delays, a deluge of false positives, or simply because a class of vulnerabilities is present and unknown. Failing to configure security tools correctly may leave vulnerabilities unaddressed, creating openings for attackers.

Investing in advanced security tools and leveraging automation can drastically improve accuracy in threat detection and reduce false positives. Meanwhile, continuous monitoring and regular security audits help identify and rectify inaccuracies.

Addressing Dwell Time Challenges

As mentioned above, addressing these two key challenges in a cybersecurity program can help reduce risk across the board. If you can increase reporting accuracy and reduce dwell time, attackers will have a much more difficult time executing all the most common attacks against java applications.

Waratek’s Java Security Platform takes a unique approach to fortifying java applications. The platform uses data tracing and immutable rules to eliminate entire classes of threats — thereby permanently reducing risk, particularly according to compliance standards. 

Using these rules allows security teams to swiftly detect and report breaches once predefined restrictions in the Java Runtime Environment are exceeded. Once malicious activities begin to unfold, Waratek becomes a critical line of defense within the application. This approach ensures that any unauthorized actions or unconventional inputs are promptly identified, thereby drastically reducing an attacker’s possible dwell time. 

Addressing Accuracy Challenges

The experience of reporting with Waratek stands out due to its two-fold strategy. The platform employs “light switch rules” that closely correlate with well-established security frameworks such as OWASP’s Top Ten, and SANS25, offering insight into malicious payloads and other pertinent metadata.

Additionally, Waratek’s arsenal includes an extensive array of patches specifically tailored to address individual Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs). With over 500 patches designed for JDKs and popular open-source libraries, Waratek provides targeted solutions to known vulnerabilities, enhancing accuracy in threat mitigation. This approach differentiates Waratek from traditional security appliances like Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) by focusing on malicious actions, efficient log reporting, and compatibility with CEF formats, effectively bolstering the security posture of Java fintech applications.

To implement enhanced java security which limits attacker dwell time and increases accuracy in incident reporting, click here. 

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