As more as there are new Fintech apps that integrate with core banking services as part of platform strategies, opportunities for developers to respond with new apps are on the rise. But what should developers consider before jumping aboard the Fintech app
movement. Considering your app will interface with a bank’s core systems, security must be built in at every stage. There must be no point of entry at the front end and a single interface via a proxy firewall at the back end. Banks are constantly strengthening the security surrounding their core systems and data in response to the regulatory, financial and reputational risks caused by regular breaches. FinTech app, of course, cannot introduce any security issues within this environment and must only enable users with the correct credentials to access core data via the API that app accesses.
Building and Releasing a Secured Solution: The Technical Aspects
The above process, if carried out diligently, would ensure that the company is ready to take the plunge on the actual development of a secure Fintech solution. There are many more development and technical aspects of security which help to avoid mistakes and release a secure solution or application that won’t succumb to the first attack. The other crucial aspects that need to be considered are as follows.
1. Architecture design and code review
Even before initiating the development procedure by writing the first line of code, one needs to design the architecture to make sure that the security aspects are met. A balance between convenience in development or usage and security needs to be maintained. In addition, once the coding is completed there should be mandatory reviews conducted ensuring no security loopholes exist in the code. During the review, the team needs to be informed about the mistakes so that they don’t get repeated. Reviewing every line of the code might sound tedious, but this will ensure no errors occur.
2. Bug fixing : quick and efficient
Fintech companies have to react quickly to the bugs that are being found. There should be mechanisms which would help all teams to work collaboratively. They should be able to identify the bugs at the earliest, reproduce them efficiently, fix them and prepare for retest. Working in a DevOps setup ensures that these happen seamlessly. It provides a holistic view of the entire software delivery chain or the product life cycle and takes into account shared services. This further, facilitates continuous development, integration and delivery inherently thereby, building a quality product.
3. Encryption ensuring security in transmission
One of the foremost challenges in securing the solution is related to the storage and transmission of data across the partners. This is a large scale issue and the answer to this is encryption. The entire data should be encrypted, while being transferred internally or outside network. There is a fear that encryption will affect the solution performance. But this encryption could be run on a separate dedicated server other than the core solution. This ensures that the data is secure and the performance does not get affected. Facebook runs encryption in a similar way and does not perform slow. Having SSL or HTTPS during transmission is not enough. The entire core product: every line of data, every layer of the product, and the lines of code should be obfuscated to make the transmission secure.
4. Security Testing
You need to make sure that the functional security features testing are core to the quality assurance testing that is being performed. The security features are possible to test using similar techniques as the other features of the product. The core security concerns for the solution should be identified, documented well into the test plan and should be tested without any compromise.
5. Penetration testing and proactive security assessment
One of the most important security assurance steps, which is often ignored, is penetration testing. This can neither replace any of the security tests that are mentioned above nor does a ‘clean’ penetration test report show that the system is perfectly secure. However this procedure assures that the product code does not get affected when subjected to attack. These penetration tests should be performed once before a new build with changes are released.