Financial institutions are one of the most vulnerable industries for fraudulent activities, breaches, hacks, cyberattacks, and ransomware in recent years. There is heightened sensitivity from customers who now demand stronger financial cybersecurity measures from their providers and regulations attempting to strengthen security measures. But it’s not just about having firewalls and zero-trust architecture for external breaches. Interestingly, most vulnerabilities originate from within organizations, innocently or maliciously, triggered by the human touch. Preventative measures are now a must for a more holistic and encompassing approach to protecting the interaction employees have with company assets, customer data, and even day-to-day communication tools to ultimately keep companies and consumers safe.
Cybersecurity compliance in the financial sector is always trying to stay one step ahead of outside threats. But just as much focus should be applied to protecting data, hardware, and applications within an organization through the standards and processes in place for employees and vendors. As hackers become savvier, the gaps within organizations have become a bigger target to reach sensitive PII data and breach systems. So, what could be done?
Reducing Security Vulnerabilities Through Solutions and Implementation
Consider some of the following solutions as part of your cybersecurity strategy:
- Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions to minimize insider threats and accidental disclosures
- Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) to better enforce security policies already in place such as multi-factor authentication, tokenization, and single sing on
- Data loss prevention (DLP) solutions to ensure sensitive data remains within your organization
Next, realize it’s not just about the technologies. The solutions above are most effective when layered with specific approaches designed to bridge the gap between technologies, processes, and people:
- Merge technologies and processes to limit human errors, where possible
- Continuously educate employees on preventative cybersecurity measures such as password standards, suspicious emails, and physical security best practices
- Define policies for safeguarding physical and digital assets as well as intellectual property
- Build a cybersecurity awareness program and culture with cyber certifications and inform why certain measures exist and are enforced
Enabling Cybersecurity Compliance in the Financial Sector
Arguably more important than the successful implementation of cybersecurity technology is the careful integration into the day-to-day processes, procedures, and practices of employees and vendors at all levels. This integration can be achieved through a robust change management strategy that assesses, mitigates, and measures the change impact for employees at all levels. Everyone across the organization should be educated about cybersecurity technology and should know their department or function’s role in proactively executing the cybersecurity strategy.
Keeping the company and customers safe starts with the person sending that email, using a trusted network to access data, and collecting sensitive information in a secure way – the employee. However, enforcing the importance of strong cybersecurity compliance in the financial sector starts at the top where it becomes part of the vision, mission, and culture of organizations. It doesn’t stop there. When attacks do occur, and it’s a matter of when, not if, ensuring there is a reactionary plan in place at the process and people level can help identify and prevent the threat earlier.
The financial sector and institutions are constantly under threat and attack because of the sensitive service they provide to consumers–money is an appealing incentive, after all. Having cybersecurity strategies and technologies is not enough to keep sensitive information, consumers, and organizations safe. Preventative measures must be ensured within the internal systems and processes that support the employees and vendors, unifying the cybersecurity technology solutions and ultimately creating a collective cybersecurity strategy at all levels.
Are you prepared to implement both the technological and people processes behind an effective cybersecurity strategy? Sendero’s robust organizational change management practice can help. Fill out the form below to learn how our consultants can ensure that your people have the tools they need to protect your customers’ data.