The Hidden Costs of Software in the World of Finance

The Hidden Costs of Software in the World of Finance

Pedro Salgueiro

Business Development Manager Finance at CRITICAL Software

Views 461

The Hidden Costs of Software in the World of Finance

07.03.2016 07:45 am

Tough competition, stringent security requirements and a business environment that demands instant results means that the financial industry has never been more reliant on safe, infallible software to support its success. From back-office applications with records loaded with highly-confidential information to smart, customer-facing apps, leading financial institutions must ensure their software systems are not only innovative, but efficient, secure and failsafe, to ensure they get things right.

Believe it or not, despite how much this sounds like common sense, many financial organisations choose to run the risky gauntlet of deploying and using software before it has been thoroughly tested. A major UK bank recently faced 56 million pounds’ worth of fines after a software error shut down its customers’ ability to access their banking accounts. The issue effected over 6.5 million customers over the course of many weeks, with many individuals unable to view their account balance, pay their mortgages or withdraw cash. And all because of a hidden software flaw.

Things don’t have to be like this. Industries with mission and safety-critical applications – like those in the aerospace and rail industries – have long tested software properly before it is put to use, wiping out the kinds of mistakes that could cost years of work to remedy or, in some extreme cases, human lives. Whilst the failure of processes in the financial industry might not endanger lives, that doesn't mean their failure doesn't cause significant, long-lasting business damage. Increasingly, industries with business-critical applications, like those in finance, are now also switching on to the dangers untested software poses.

So whilst time to market is always crucial and supporting business growth with new innovative products and services is integral to a financial market that is constantly seeking to re-invent itself, providing customers and employees with well-tested, fully-functioning software tools is paramount to long-term security, peace of mind and success. 

The good news is that new cost-effective, technological solutions are now emerging to help financial organisations achieve better, more secure and more reliable software. As part of this mini-revolution, the term SSDLC (Secure Software Development Lifecycle) refers to a specific process within the development of software where the analysis and prevention of potential problems that might otherwise go unnoticed until it is too late takes place. This process includes pre-release testing at what is called ‘the development level’, fixing potential problems before they materialise, when it is too late – in other words, when the software is actually deployed and where the cost to fix the problem would be far greater.

Of course, to take full advantage of the benefits SSDLC brings to financial organisations, it is important that a culture is put in place to ensure that all systems and software adhere to its principles. This means buy-in from the top of the organisation down, so that all software processes are subscribed to SSDLC best practices and integrated in a way that promotes security and efficiency. For institutions adopting these principles for the first time, working with external experts can be a crucial first step in ensuring that SSDLC is properly integrated into software development practices. 

The advantages for organisations that are able to implement SSDLC practices are clear. Research shows that correcting problems before business-critical software is actually deployed is approximately six times cheaper than trying to correct any problems after deployment. And, with the average banking app containing over 100,000 lines of software code, and with 1,000 lines of this code typically needing to be corrected pre-deployment, the value of proper pre-testing is clear.

Ultimately, ensuring the software used in the world of finance is properly tested before deployment means that organisations can enjoy peace of mind, lower overall software operational costs and a faster route to secure and reliable systems first time around.

Latest blogs

Nish Kotecha Finboot and Bryan Foss, NED, Visiting Professor at Bristol Business School and member of the FRC Audit & Assurance Council

How Listed Companies Can Use Blockchain to Prevent Auditing and Reporting Malpractice and Avoid Scandal

Not too long ago, there was very little to link Wirecard, the disgraced payments platform in Aschheim, Germany, with Boohoo, the fast-fashion online retailer in Leicester, England, but both have recently been embroiled in high-profile scandals. Read more »

Leon Muis Yolt Technology Services

The Time for Financial Services to Become Truly Digital is Now

The financial services industry looks set to change dramatically over the next couple of years in response to COVID-19. The pandemic has certainly highlighted some inefficiencies and weak spots in current processes for many businesses, such as those Read more »

Granville Turner Turner Little

The Lockdown Money Revolution

Many Brits have found that lockdown has been beneficial for their money, having cut back on personal spending and managing to put away some extra cash. According to eToro, Brits with unspent discretionary income are set to accumulate £75.5bn in Read more »

Sandra Higgins Sysnet Global Solutions

Are You ‘Prescribing’ the Right Security Solution to Your Merchants?

When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, eating the right food, taking regular exercise, and maintaining a positive mindset are key. However, despite these best intentions and practices, you still might not get all the nutrients your body needs Read more »

Robert Flowers DivideBuy

It Doesn’t Have to Be the End – How Retailers Can Grow in Light of COVID-19

It’s no news that the retail industry has been flipped on its head by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the lockdown, most in-store operations have been shut down, and nationwide furloughs, reduced pay and steady streams of income at risk have fuelled a Read more »

Magazine
ALL
Free Newsletter Sign-up
+44 (0) 208 819 32 53 +44 (0) 173 261 71 47
Download Our Mobile App
Financial It Youtube channel