Because of the abundance of financial and data assets that can attract bad actors, understanding how to improve financial services security is a timely concern.
Digital transformation efforts in the financial services industry have been ramping up due to changing customer behavior and preferences and the rise of digital transactions. For example, IBM’s “Cost of a Data Breach 2020” report states the average cost of a data breach in financial services was $5.85 million compared to $3.86 million in all other sectors.
A proactive risk-focused approach and robust security measures can strengthen cybersecurity. Continue reading about the ways to improve financial services security in 2023.
7 Ways to Improve Financial Services Security in 2023
A comprehensive approach to financial cybersecurity is advantageous, as it prevents perpetrators from exploiting loopholes in your system. The best way is to collaborate with people across the organization to develop a business-wide cybersecurity strategy.
Transform your financial services systems into secure environments using these 7 methods:
1. Build a secure IT infrastructure
An IT infrastructure that is flexible, dependable, and secure can assist your company in meeting its objectives and providing a competitive advantage in the market. Data security will always be a top priority because financial services customers expect high levels of security.
You can host your data using on-premise systems or use cloud services provided by a third party. The main distinction between the two is their location. Cloud software hosting is via a third-party server and accessible on a web browser. In contrast, installing on-premise systems has to be in your company’s offices and other designated locations.
Deploying on-premises software is usually more expensive. Your company needs to invest in server hardware, power consumption, and additional space. You will also need to plan, conduct, and account for the expenses of the configuration, upgrades, and system changes.
In contrast, cloud systems do not require any expense on equipment. The cloud service provider handles software maintenance, compatibility, and upgrades. Data is also safer in the cloud as these systems use encryption and extra security measures.
2. Create stringent internal policies to thwart insider threats
The financial services industry is an enticing target because it provides high-profile business and customer data, with insider threats accounting for 62% of all cybersecurity incidents. Implementing key cybersecurity components can strengthen your company’s defenses against emerging insider threats.
A dependable access management software can assist your IT department in granting the appropriate access while monitoring and tracking access behavior. The majority of third-party remote access solutions have these technologies integrated into their systems.
Multi-factor authentication, which requires two or more authentication methods, can also prevent unauthorized data access. Combined with regular user access auditing, this approach ensures the least privileged access and reduces risks.
3. Educate employees against social engineering attacks
Financial services and insurance executives are prone to phishing attacks that steal sensitive information. Considering these threats, employees should receive cybersecurity awareness training.
According to CISCO’s “2021 Cybersecurity Threat Trends” report, at least one person in approximately 86% of organizations clicked a phishing link. Employees must be able to identify these and other types of threats to reduce the risks of a security breach.
To help your employees become more aware of this problem, consider providing training campaigns, as 80% of businesses claimed that security awareness training had made their employees less vulnerable to phishing scams.
4. Perform penetration testing regularly
The security challenges that financial services face differ depending on their size and level of maturity. Financial services should run annual penetration tests to assess the company’s cyber resilience.
Penetration tests identify network vulnerabilities to stay one step ahead of potential attackers. In addition, pen tests can help you find and fix security flaws that criminals may try to exploit to compromise assets and steal data.
This test keeps the security of your company in top shape. Ideally, your team performs a pen test on company networks and systems following any significant update. Your testing results can give you ideas on how to direct your cybersecurity investments, saving you time and money.
5. Stress test your systems
Stress testing assesses a software’s reliability and error-handling capabilities under extreme load conditions. Stress testing confirms software systems’ dependability and stability, especially when processing high volumes of data. It also ensures the system does not crash under pressure.
Stress tests go beyond standard operating conditions to evaluate how the software performs in harsh environments. It reveals system issues that only become apparent under these extreme conditions.
Proper stress tests are valuable in recognizing the following:
- Interlock problems
- Priority problems
- Synchronization and timing bugs
- Resource loss bugs
- Memory leaks
- Data loss and corruption
6. Invest in endpoint security systems
Endpoint protection is critical in the fight against cybercrime in the financial and banking sectors. Endpoint security acts as the frontline of cybersecurity and is one of the first aspects to consider for safeguarding enterprise networks.
It protects entry points of end-user devices such as computers, laptops, and smartphones from malicious activities or attempts. Endpoint security systems also guard against cybersecurity threats on a network or in the cloud.
7. Consult IT security experts
As gatekeepers of valuable customer information, financial institutions become subject to numerous cybersecurity rules and regulations. Thus, the financial services industry requires more qualified cybersecurity professionals to evaluate and keep systems up to date.
IT expert consulting can identify flaws or gaps in financial services systems and propose how to address those vulnerabilities. IT solutions can recognize your organization’s core cybersecurity needs and build a solid blueprint for your IT security program.
Achieve Financial Services Security
Cybersecurity should be central to any financial institution’s security strategy. Therefore, investing in proper technological infrastructure is vital to protect against cyberattacks.
Choosing the right security partner is critical to the success of any organization. A few criteria include specific financial services knowledge, understanding the most recent adversarial techniques, and the ability to uphold the highest legal and ethical standards.
Schedule a consultation with Yondu IT expert services to meet your cybersecurity expectations. Yondu accelerates businesses in the new digital economy by providing industry-standard, secure, and scalable solutions that result in exceptional technological experiences.