Week in Digital: encryption is crucial for financial services

By Teamspirit on Saturday, 10 January 2015

As of this week, the main topic in the UK digital scene has been the government's sentiments about secure communications - specifically, their hinting at a desire to outlaw end-to-end encryption.

What this means, in essence, is that the government would then have the right to read anything, sent by anyone, if it gains permission from other bodies. Whether or not that happens, it does bring up the topic of infosec, or information security, and how important it is to keep data on lockdown if at all possible to prevent it from being used for unintended or unwanted purposes.

Financial services, by their very nature, have to take cyber security extremely seriously. Privacy is, of course, important to all users, but when it comes to your money, whether it's online banking or your pension pot, knowing you're in a safe place is crucial.

Luckily, fintech trade body FDATA is already planning to develop a code of practice to ensure data security. They claim they want to help consumers "make better decisions and take control of their finances", but it's a reasonable goal to ensure that any decisions are made in secure privacy.

The other advantage of FDATA's code of conduct will be a "white list" of trusted companies that banks can release data to with full confidence that nothing untoward will happen. This creates a significant opportunity for trusted apps, sites and phone services that can go beyond merely guessing at what your banking situation might be, without you having to worry about where your data will end up.

Two-factor authentication, email-scanning algorithms - people are worried about their data privacy. Financial services companies have a serious responsibility, and it's one that they are thankfully taking very seriously.

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