Prevention is better than cure: Fortifying finance with data streaming

Here's why data streaming can help reduce revenue loss, protect corporate reputation and allow firms to scale more confidently.

In today’s globally connected world, online transactions can be summed up in one word: seamless. With a few clicks, e-wallets can be topped up to make online purchases. Better yet, the rise of super apps has enabled consumers to be able to order food, ride-hail and grocery shop all at once. These everyday transactions contribute to growing digital ecosystems and better consumer experience. Yet, the addition of these new touchpoints creates more avenues and opportunities for sophisticated cyberattacks. 

Focus on the calm instead of cleaning up after the storm

In 2022, over 70% of Asia Pacific (Apac) organisations experienced cyberattacks, of which 55% made ransom payments to avoid operational disruption and financial loss. This makes clear that businesses with any kind of digital offering need to double down on prevention and detection of suspicious activity. However, many still struggle to combat cyber incidents, be it growing online scams, account takeovers, phishing bot attacks and point of service (PoS) malware. Such inefficacies often stem from the lack of timely data and contextual intelligence that help organisations differentiate between legitimate and malicious behaviour.

With digital ecosystems now so interconnected, organisations must undertake a pre-emptive approach to cybersecurity to mitigate significant revenue and reputation damage.

With real-time data streaming, organisations can access much-needed contextual intelligence for threat identification. It is crucial that cybersecurity measures not only respond instantaneously but are also able to remain agile within an increasingly sophisticated threat landscape.

Securing the back end with real-time data streaming

Singapore’s extensive digital adoption has seen 3.51 million users in the country purchasing goods online, with local consumers also spending over US$400 million on digital services in 2022. This has been accompanied by the normalisation of additional security measures in check-out processes, such as two-factor authentication (2FA), Card Verification Value (CVV) codes, and CAPTCHAs at multiple customer touchpoints. However, such verification methods can slow down the consumer transaction process, exchanging seamlessness for security.

To provide customers with the best of both worlds, companies should leverage real-time data streaming to monitor and detect suspicious activity before it can take place. Data streaming architecture is uniquely suited to process vast amounts of data almost instantaneously, enabling businesses to access all structured and unstructured data insights at any instance. Fraud prevention teams will be able to run thousands of complex, contextualised rules simultaneously,  map live changes onto historical customer activity to sieve out abnormalities with precision and intelligently automate actions in real-time.

Whether used for major payment applications or super apps with third-party integrations, data streaming can help companies assess the millions or even billions of transactions happening across their various services daily. Available background data can be maximised to conduct full audits in a matter of seconds, and preventive steps taken to better protect consumers and the company’s bottom line. When backend data is secured with data streaming, front-end customer experiences flow seamlessly while giving customers peace of mind.

Creating synergy with a centralised data nervous system

By leveraging data streaming architecture to eliminate working in data silos, information across various business lines can function and be distributed independently. Simultaneously, the same data can remain connected and accessible via a centralised depository, providing companies with a flexible yet comprehensive approach to managing data across the organisation.

For instance, data streaming can bring together diverse datasets that have previously been separately sitting under the domain of cyber or fraud teams. This gives companies a broader view of the risks that need to be assessed, allowing them to accurately identify threat factors that are only visible against a wider backdrop of digital transactions.

With centralised data architecture, different departments can tap into the same, extensive pool of data sources for insights. Such a framework acts as a central ‘nervous system’ that facilitates data reusability as teams access real-time information specific to their needs. This promotes organisational agility and drives informed collaboration to bolster the company’s cyber defences.

Harnessing data insights to future-proof businesses 

With the influx of integrated digital services, organisations must leverage data streaming to strategically embed fraud protection into the architecting and planning of their business. Companies can fortify their digital security measures by intelligently assessing the vast number of real-time transactions occurring in the digital space.

In short, tapping on data streaming for cybersecurity helps organisations reduce revenue loss, protect corporate reputation and give them greater confidence to scale without worry. With these safeguards, companies can focus on business growth and innovation, ultimately offering the best omnichannel user experiences to consumers today.

Suvig Sharma is the area vice president for Asean at Confluent

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