Financial Institutions Must Protect the Data Like They Protect the Money

by Frank Yue

If you are like most people and myself, you do not go into a bank and have a conversation with a teller when you make a deposit or withdrawal. You probably do not write paper checks and sign them. You have an app on your phone to access your bank account and use one of the thousands of automated teller machines (ATM), around the world to move money in and out of your accounts.

The financial world is very different with the advent of the internet and near real-time information. Gone is the time when Leonardo DiCaprio Frank Abagnale Jr. can forge checks and cash them at banks around the country. Today’s verification systems will flag the bad check immediately through online record matching. All of this information flying between branches and banks through the network depends on security technologies to protect the money as well as the personal information tied to all of the bank accounts and transactions.

Financial institutions have a responsibility to protect sensitive information on their systems and through their networks. The business must protect the data at rest, the data in transit, and the systems holding and transmitting the data.

Data at rest

Encryption algorithms and hashes are used to obscure the data within the applications and databases. There are many methods to protect the databases varying from field level encryption to solutions that encrypt the entire database. The method used often depends on the application requirements and how often individual records within the database are being updated.

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