CTO Corner is BITS’s monthly publication covering emerging trends and technologies in the financial services industry.

CTO Corner: Biometrics and its Emerging Role in Financial Services

June 1, 2014

This article updates my September 2011 CTO Corner on the state of biometrics and its impact on financial services. At that time, biometrics was employed in specialized areas such as law enforcement and anti-terrorist surveillance and I queried whether biometrics would be deployed on a large scale in mainstream markets, such as financial services. I concluded that it was premature to make that judgment with a caveat that it would be dependent on the deployment of smart phones and tablets equipped with built-in biometrics sensors.

CTO Corner: Financial Top-Level Domains: Opportunity to Improve Internet Security

May 1, 2014

The financial sector is seeking to secure from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) two top-level domain names (.bank and .insurance). If successful, this investment could significantly improve Internet security for financial institutions. This article provides background on efforts to secure .bank and .insurance and what it could mean for the financial sector and consumers.

CTO Corner: Cyber Security Trends

March 1, 2014

This column reviews cybersecurity technology tools and best practices in use today, discusses areas that need improvement, and introduces some promising trends. Today’s cybersecurity tools and best practices can be organized under the five functions (Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover) using the categories in the recently-issued NIST Cybersecurity Framework.1 These five functions are summarized below, along with current trends and challenges:

CTO Corner: EMV, PCI DSS and the Role of Standards in Financial Services

February 1, 2014

This article focuses on two security standards — Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) — with respect to their roles in combatting credit and debit card fraud and fending off cyber-attack. They are not the only important standards relating to payments, but they are the key ones for credit and debit cards, and are the ones most discussed in relation to the recent data breaches at retailers such as the massive Target breach that was revealed in December 20131.

CTO Corner: The past year in prospective: What might the future hold in store for Financial Services

January 1, 2014

We have seen a lot of change in the past year including Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on banks, the NIST Cyber Security framework, proposed Cyber legislation, the NSA disclosure, the rise of Bitcoin, the continued growth of mobile with the emergence of internet- enabled devices including the Google Glass1, smart watches such as Pebble2 and activity trackers such as Fibit3, the growing popularity of biometrics such as the Apple’s fingerprint touch ID4, Google gesture apps5 and gesture control6, and the Internet of Things7. 2013 also marked the first time the non-human traffic in the internet exceeded human traffic8.