More and more financial institutions in Latin America are relying on REALSEC.
REALSEC CEO interview in Segurilatam magazine about the important REALSEC’s presence in Latin America, mainly in the financial sector.
You can know more information and details in the next questions and answers.
– For those readers in Latin America who are not yet familiar with Realsec, can you explain when the company was founded, what your specialization in the world of cybersecurity is, and in which sectors are your products and solutions used?
Realsec is a Spanish company with international projection that was founded in 2001 with the aim of developing systems and solutions for encryption and digital signature based on cryptographic hardware.
As FIPS 140-2 Level 3 and PCI HSM PTS 2.0 certified cryptographic hardware (HSM) manufacturers, our products and solutions are focused on sectors such as Banking and Methods of Payment, Defense and Security, Government and other sectors such as Industry and Compliance Services or to protect critical business assets and sensitive information.
-Although the headquarters and the R&D&i center are located in Spain, Realsec is also present in other markets. In the case of Latin America, when did it start operating in the region? How is Realsec’s presence established in the different countries of Latin America?
Indeed, Realsec has its headquarters and the R&D&i center in Madrid and has also offices and corporate presence in San Francisco, Mexico and Singapore.
Our internationalization process in Latin America began in 2008, with the aim of boosting our business through channel.
In 2010, having obtained the first customers and verifying our business potential in Latin America we decided to open an office in Mexico.
Currently we have an important network of partners, companies linked to the world of cybersecurity that sell our products and solutions in most countries in the area: Peru, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Bolivia, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, etc.
-Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, how is Realsec helping to strengthen the security of its customers in Latin America?
As a security company, at Realsec we have always been aware of the importance of managing the potential risks and their impact on the business of our customers in contingency situations in order to ensure the continuity of our business and that of our customers.
Thanks to this and our situation in terms of digitization, COVID-19 has not caught us off guard and we are assisting and supporting our customers in a similar way to the way we did before the pandemic emerged, safeguarding the restrictions and limitations related to contact and/or physical presence in the support of our customers and prospects.
-As in other parts of the world, the current situation is increasing contactless payments in Latin America. In this regard, what solutions does Realsec propose to protect banking operations and methods of payment?
Realsec is a company with a high standard of leadership in cryptographic solutions to protect transactions and operation of the methods of payment since we have accredited and tested technology to secure the operations carried out in any payment channel used by Banking: credit or debit cards, mobile phone network, wallet systems, web channels, etc.
COVID-19 in addition to increasing banking transactions on web and mobile channels, has triggered the number of contactless card payment transactions, with banks having expanded the maximum amounts per operation.
At Realsec, we have several cryptographic solutions for the financial field but our most widespread and implemented proposal to protect the bank transactional operation is “Cryptosec-BANKING”, an HSM (Hardware Security Module) that incorporates all the cryptographic algorithms and functions used in the field of Methods of Payment and that has the PCI HSM PTS 2.0 Certification, required to all banks by the PCI Consortium , which is made up of the franchising companies of the Methods of Payment: VISA and Mastercard.
-Especially in Mexico, in Latin America there has been an eclosion of fintechs. What security challenges do these pose and what role does Realsec play in minimizing its risks?
As you say, the eclosion and development of Fintechs is a phenomenon on the rise all over the world, but especially in Latin America, with Brazil and Mexico being the two countries with the highest number of Fintechs that are changing the spectrum of the traditional financial sector by offering innovative financial services with the latest technology available.
These new financial actors face challenges similar to those faced by traditional banking about security to protect their business operations. Let us not forget that in many cases they are a technological extension of the first ones and are subject to compliance with the requirements of the financial authorities of each country.
For example, in the case of Mexico as established by BANXICO (Bank of Mexico) and the CNMV (National Securities Market Commission).
Realsec counts, among its Latin American customers, several Fintechs companies that use the same cryptographic solutions as traditional banking to minimize their risks and protect their transactions, as well as to meet the level of demand of local financial authorities.
In the case of Mexico, we may refer to TOKA as a customer, first Fintech to comply with the requirements established by the CNBV to operate in the Mexican financial market.
-In Europe, the new PSD2 regulation has begun to be implemented, which aims to make electronic payments safer. In this regard, what is the situation in Latin America? What regulations, certifications, standards, etc., are taken into account to achieve this purpose?
The aim of the European Payment Services Directive PSD2 is to protect, through enhanced two-factor or three-factor authentication, the customer and the entity itself from the risk of identity phishing fraud.
In a financial scenario, where traditional banking, Fintechs and other Open Banking models coexist, enhanced authentication, in addition to a need, is an unavoidable requirement to meet.
In Latin America’s financial sphere, depending on the countries, its corresponding Financial Authorities have driven or are driving regulations to protect banking users from fraud.
As an example, in the case of Colombia, the country’s Financial Superintendency has established two-factor authentication, using mechanisms such as fingerprint or facial recognition in transactions, in addition to the use of keys.
In the case of Mexico, BANXICO, in addition to recommending the Banks to use two-factor authentication mechanisms, similar to those established in Colombia, to prevent phishing fraud, it requires banks to verify the identification of their customers against the INE (National Electoral Institute) body responsible for the management and custody of the identity of Mexican citizens.
-What is the added value of Realsec in the financial field? Why should a sector entity rely on their expertise, products, and solutions?
If I should highlight three reasons why the Realsec’s proposal provides greater value than that of our competitors, these would be those recognized by our customers and which are as follows: extensive expertise and technical knowledge of cryptographic needs in the financial field; solutions that incorporate the total functionality required by any financial institution with a high transactional performance, documented in Spanish and at a reasonable price and finally, the quality of our technical service and commitment to the customer.
-Finally, would you like to make any comments that you consider of interest to Latin American readers on any issues that have not been addressed in this questionnaire?
Just to express that more and more financial institutions in the American continent are customers of Realsec and I want to reiterate our appreciation for their trust in our company and we hope to continue to being alongside and support them, as strategic partners, in achieving their business objectives.