Rise in data theft opens door for fintech

The ability to protect sensitive client information will be an integral driver for fintech companies, argues Midwinter managing director Julian Plummer.

In a statement, the head of the financial planning software provider said companies that can secure high volumes of confidential data will become particularly important to the financial services industry in the coming years.

"In the past few years, there have been several high-profile cases of IT security failures within the industry and they are due to both policy breaches and technical failures," Mr Plummer said.

"Ensuring the safety of all sensitive client data for our advisory clients has become a top priority for Midwinter, and we have taken extreme actions to ensure that information is managed and stored securely, so as to continue Midwinter's clean slate of zero security breaches."

Midwinter announced recently that it has become one of the first cloud-based software providers to be awarded an ISO 27001 certification "for information security management".

In doing so, the company hired Zirilio – an Australian IT security consultant – to ensure Midwinter achieved and maintained "the highest level" of ISO 27001 compliance.

Zirilio executive managing director Tom Dole said he has seen over the past year an increase in the sophistication of the information attacks within the Asia-Pacific region.

"A significant proportion of malicious activity originates as untargeted activity, gaining access to organisations (e.g. via Malware) with the sole purpose of funding data/information of value," he said.

"Often once this information is garnered, it is then silently replicated to malicious servers on the internet, the information is sorted and classified, with the information either sold or utilised for a targeted attack.

"Typically, we see organisations where data of value was stolen to be subjected to targeted attacks within 7 days of initial infection."

Mr Plummer added that he predicts the industry will begin to see more of a focus on information security as both advisers and their end consumers become more aware of how much of their data is stored online.

"Those advisers who are able to assure their clients that their information is well secured and managed against malicious attacks will find themselves with a comparative advantage over their competitors in the long term," he said.

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