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Digital supervision and cybersecurity in BFSI – Digital Transformation News | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

By Rakesh Asthana

India’s BFSI sector is poised for exponential growth influenced by rising per capita income, technological innovations, an integrated supply chain, and heightened customer financial awareness. In this dynamic landscape, Digital Supervision and Cybersecurity innovation is crucial for industry growth. Protecting sensitive data, preventing cyber threats, and detecting breaches is essential for business continuity, regulatory compliance, customer trust, and financial loss prevention, ultimately fostering a sense of security and trust that boosts business.

Cybersecurity threats aim to compromise IT systems, networks, and databases, impacting Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA). Confidentiality limits access to authorized users, Integrity ensures data reliability, and Availability guarantees system access. A robust cybersecurity framework prevents attacks and enhances resilience, enabling businesses to respond and operate during cyberattacks.

To effectively address these threats, businesses must, particularly in the BFSI sector, establish a strong Information and Cybersecurity Policy (ICSP) and ensure its proper implementation to reduce the risk of data disclosure, alteration, destruction, delay, or misuse. The ICSP delineates management responsibilities and sets objectives for consistently protecting the organization’s vital data and information assets.

It should be implemented to provide a user-centric, trusted, and secure set of resources and environments for employees to conduct business while protecting information assets, including customer data. Cyber awareness of the employees, contractors, and third-party service providers is an essential & integral part of this policy. 

In cyber security measures, innovation shall be aimed at “Data Leakage Protection (DLP)” and “Technology Risk Assessment (TRA)” to improve the IT systems, ensuring regulatory compliance, fraud prevention and detection, and operational efficiency. The “Digital Personal Data Protection Bill (DPDPB), 2022” will give appropriate and effective backing to the organizations in the BFSI sector.

However, constant monitoring and review of this measure by the Information Security Risk Management Committee (ISRMC) comprising of the Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Chief IT Security Officer (CITSO), Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Function Heads of Operations, legal, Compliance, and Finance is a must to make it foolproof.

The BFSI sector has witnessed the massive adoption of advanced technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, the Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics, and Blockchain. These advanced technologies are reshaping digital supervision, fraud prevention and detection, risk management, and customer authentication processes to enhance cyber security. However, regulators encounter fresh monitoring challenges with the latest tech. Regulatory Technology offers innovative solutions to streamline compliance, automate reporting, and uphold regulatory standards. The BFSI sector’s cybersecurity threats encompass ransomware attacks, data breaches, insider threats, and social engineering, but innovation and advanced tech can proactively address these risks.

There is a need for a collaborative approach and synergy between financial institutions, technology providers, and regulatory bodies to foster a collective defence against cyber threats. Innovative partnerships and information-sharing initiatives can lead to the development of stronger cybersecurity frameworks. 

One such partnership is between Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL) and Nasscom Centre of Excellence (CoE) for IoT & AI. The alliance aims to enhance customer experience and drive operational efficiencies and data security while creating long-term value within the sector. The association will strengthen the industry’s preparedness towards the threats, making it future-ready.

In the BFSI industry, preserving customer trust is crucial. Businesses must adopt innovations like encryption, biometrics, and secure data storage to protect sensitive customer information and ensure data privacy. The BFSI sector prioritizes disaster recovery and incident response capabilities to ensure resilience and business continuity. Since the BFSI sector stores and uses huge amounts of customer data and deploys big data analytics for business growth, protecting personal data has become very important, especially with the Digital Personal Data Bill 2022. It has been drafted with the scope of protecting the Right to Privacy and Freedom of the individuals in India. 

The Bill contains provisions regarding governance, requirements, penalties, and grievance mechanisms of parties involved to empower individuals and provide control over their data in digital format. Key parties defined in the Bill are the individual, the organization, the Members of the Organization, and the Regulatory Body. The Bill is applicable for collecting data within India, both online and offline. It also applies to data and the processing of digital personal data outside India if such processing is in connection with any profiling of or activity of offering goods or services to individuals within India.

Data is the basis on which the entire BFSI sector and the regulatory authorities act, and the Data Protection Bill makes it more important for all the players to ensure effective and dynamic cybersecurity mechanisms in their domain. In the present world, instead of TIME IS MONEY, “DATA IS MONEY” and protect it to grow!

The author is group head, corporate affairs and advisor, Religare Enterprises Ltd

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