The digital age has brought with it a unique set of challenges, and few are as commonly cited as the risk posed by cybercrime. According to the most recent report authored by governmental advisory board The Council of Economic Advisors, cybercrime already accounts for up to $106 billion in damages. Part of the solution to the growing security challenge is embracing technology that provides the tools for data to be stored and secured in a secure manner. Federated queries and searches are chief among these tools for a number of reasons.

Enabling Institutions to Share Openly

With increased connectivity has come an increased demand for open banking. This process, where different financial services will openly provide their data to other platforms, has proved incredibly popular due to it’s effectiveness in aiding money administration. The ability to seamlessly bring together financial records in one place is beneficial, both for actively managing money and for switching bank accounts and the like. In return, banks receive valuable data to help them shape their future strategy.

The downside to this process is that data is left more out in the open than before. While banks have not downgraded their notoriously strict encryption and security features, they have made the data more accessible for more of the time. Federated queries play a key part in maintaining this balance. As outlined by tech industry giants Intel, federated analytics are already being deployed by banks to create a central source of counter-fraud analysis, without moving data at all. As data movement is where the greatest risk of crime occurs, this is an encouraging development and will help to combat fraud further down the line.

Improving Efficiency, Protecting Details

Identity theft is a major segment of online fraud. According to the influential Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 16.7m Americans fall victim to identity theft each year, and this number is only increasing as more people are sharing their details online. This, in addition to draconian laws imposed across the globe, are making data privacy scarce and a hot button topic. Financial institutions are a key player here, too; according to GDPR enforcement tracker, banks around the world have been fined for data breaches. Federated query and search enables data sources to be masked before it is processed, removing the amount of opportunistic cybercrime occurring within the data chain.

Defeating Sophisticated Malware

According to Adrian Lane of DarkReading, federated query has inadvertently helped to make huge strides towards tackling the most modern of hacking and malware attempts. A key piece of technology that is a feature of all federated query systems is the main factor here. In turn, it is helping to create a shield against how many modern hackers operate.

In Lane’s analysis of current federated query systems, he notes that the masking of the source of data creates a situation where would-be hackers or other malicious entities are unaware of what to target. The need to mask data streams in order to create a truly safe federated environment means that would-be attacks are stuck when it comes to data discovery and are essentially without the necessary opportunity to attack data streams.

The Future of Financial Security

Federated query is already making it far easier for banks to store, protect, and share data. To further develop the industry, more focus is required on helping businesses and institutions to network and to develop shared standards – this will create assurance for the data in question and make sharing more consistent. A recent study in the Journal of Biomedical Sciences advocated these findings; their conclusion was that cataloging and data definition and assurance measures would make federated query suitable not just for financial institutions and business, but for highly sensitive and critical biomedical research.

Federated query is a great way of linking data in a more intuitive way than data lakes or hubs. It also allows different businesses to link up in a way not previously seen. Already, federated query has been effective for financial institutions, like banks, and is helping everyday people to become protected against fraud and manage their finances more safely. With more cooperation and interlinking of data, federated query will become the byword for efficiency and a common-sense approach.

Check out what the Nexus and NexusCore are doing with Federated Queries in our release coming later this month!