Security & the Tech Evolution of Financial Services

Last year saw a 50% rise in the use of banking app logins each day and a 250% increase in the use of contactless cards. Technology is constantly changing and the world of finance is often right at the forefront of the latest developments. Unfortunately, with any new technology comes new exploitable weaknesses, and we need to make sure that customers, their money and their data, are always fully protected. But even as industry awareness of all things InfoSec seems to be improving, I’m still regularly encountering organisations where Cyber Risk / IT Security staff are undervalued, underutilised and simply working under the wrong function.

So much of the FS and Banking world is becoming more digitised, and as that happens the demand for (and the cost of) a solid Cyber strategy and the correctly skilled staff will only increase. At the same time, the focus on Cyber Security from regulators will remain a top issue, and I hope to see the industry move towards a more collaborative approach where regulators and businesses are working together to track and tackle emerging threats – sharing vital reputable information helps everyone.

Collaboration, in my opinion, is the key to success in tackling securing at any organisation – a Cyber Security team working closely with a business at its core, the coalface and the powers that be, will help manage risks on both fronts, from an IT perspective as well as social engineering. As they say – the top causes of data security incidents at the moment are via Phishing, Hacking & Malware.

For all this fear-mongering, though, I am hopeful about the state of Cyber risk within financial services. I think as the business side of an FS organisation starts to understand that Cyber risk is a pivotal factor in both their success and their safety, they can make sure a strategy is fully embedded in everything the organisation does. For example, focussing on security and privacy in the earliest stages of developing new digital products, will save everyone involved a lot of time, money and potentially data.

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