Cybersecurity in the Financial Industry
The concepts of trust and security rely on the heart of financial services but unfortunately, it gets more and more challenging every day to maintain confidentiality, to provide the necessary systems and services and to keep the data safe at the same time. This is because cybersecurity threats are enlarged to financial systems from individual institutions. As the financial institutions are improving themselves digitally by introducing new channels, becoming more automated and working on other technological enhancements, occasionally they are becoming more vulnerable to digital attacks. So, it means that they need to keep the balance between being open and being safe. To ensure a safe financial environment, regulators expect better customer privacy protections from the institutions, therefore putting more pressure on them. As a result, a newer and more developed approach to address the problem of cybersecurity is most needed.
Privacy, Trust & Regulations
Data privacy is one of the hot topics of the digital era because as the technological developments promise to improve the lives of many, it is the same developments that risk the most private information of ours.
Since financial institutions are the holders of many personal and financial data, trust is one of the most important concepts that they need to sustain. When there is a data breach in a trusted firm, it affects the whole industry. Therefore, the regulatory and compliance rules for financial institutions are getting more stringent with the cybercrimes. In this environment, educating employees and getting the support from fin-tech firms are becoming more important and strategic to detect and solve the issues as soon as possible.
Awareness vs. Actions
The threats of cybercrimes are acknowledged by many financial organizations and security is one of the top three priorities; however, most of them focus only on the protection of growth areas and leave their core business areas exposed.
In spite of the harsh reality of cybercrimes threatening their organizations so closely, the number of institutions investing in security management is still a minority.
Firms that understand the importance and urgency of the issue have started to get the help of an external security service provider.
Possible Solution – Holistic Approach
As the popular approach of the age is an “integrated” one, the cybersecurity issue can not simply be seen as an information-technology problem. The possible strategy to tackle the cyber risk should include all the resources and activities of an organization and should start with creating awareness.
A successful cybersecurity risk management strategy should include (but not limited to):
- Strategical and innovative point of view: It should be embedded into the decision-making strategies and be adaptable for innovative purposes
- Risk-management and prioritization: It should be managed by a well-driven risk prioritization and awareness.
- Intelligence and agility: It is important to detect a threat in time and know-how to act by awareness and intelligence.
- Resilience and scalability: Without releasing the gas pedal of the business, it is crucial to minimize the effect of disruptions.
As this integrated approach against cybersecurity risks delivers trust, it also aims to create positive business outcomes for the financial institutions like better regulatory compliances, more effective risk management, maintaining brand fairness and higher shareholder value.
- Put security as the top initiative: Focusing on security as a top corporate initiative has a positive connotation, but it is equally important to support it with investment commitment.
- Give a real voice the importance of security: Security professionals and executives must work harder together to articulate the importance of security to their board.
- Understand that your security policy and access control rights are documents that require updating constantly: Cybersecurity threats may come out of nowhere; therefore the precautions, policies, and controls should always be up to date.
- Do not ignore the security measurements of all the new business initiatives you launch: Make sure that security has a central integral place in all new IT-based projects.
- Always keep your eyes and ears open to your current environment: Check the current security risks among people, businesses, and technology and be honest to yourself
- Get an assistance of an external security service provider for strategic and tactical issues: Security service providers are very helpful in developing and implementing a security strategy. Threat intelligence, detection, response, and other management processes are among the services they provide. It is highly possible that in some cases they perform more effectively than the internal team since it can be hard to become aware of all the potential threats while there are other procedures ongoing.
- Be open-minded when choosing an external security service provider: There are different types of security service providers in the market, with different core capabilities. You should focus on your needs and make sure that your security team works closely with them.
In the environment of constant cybersecurity threats, the stringent regulatory expectations, ever-evolving fragmented operational side of the business and alterations in the user/consumer behavior and expectations, financial institutions have but no other chance to start adopting new strategies to be able to keep up with. To innovate their businesses and provide a better service to their customers, they keep looking ways to make use of mobile, social, cloud and other technological trends; however, they should keep awake to the threats of cybercrimes and must take the security precautions for protection.
So, instead of trusting on yesterday’s security technologies to protect against today’s and tomorrow’s threats, financial institutions must be aware of these facts and take action accordingly:
- Targeted attacks might be getting processed in your system right now
- Data Center attacks may result in massive damages and loss
- The loss of confidential data can cost a lot more than just money
- Malicious insider activity is a very common issue you need to be careful about
- Ransomware attacks can lock up critical data and devices
- Regulatory compliances can be challenging and still they must be met fully
Fineksus provides AI backed technologies to make Fintech companies meet industry standards and regulatory expectations. You can check our solutions or just contact us and we would be delighted to share our expertise and answer any of your further concerns.
Murat Kurtulmuş, Implementation and Support Manager