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What Digital Transformation in Banking Means for Cybersecurity

Financial institutions have unique pain points to address in today’s rapidly changing security environment.

The finance industry must meet unique requirements when deploying digital and cloud-based solutions that leverage the latest technology. End users have high expectations when it comes to the user experience and the security of their most sensitive data. 

This presents a challenge for financial IT leaders tasked with digitalizing legacy tools and processes. 

Generic solutions rarely meet the specific demands of the finance industry and almost never provide the key performance indicators that finance stakeholders use to monitor and evaluate performance. 

At the same time, finance leaders are used to placing top priority on revenue and cost. The impact of digital transformation often goes well beyond these easily quantifiable factors. 

Reducing cybersecurity risk is a major component of this decision, but it doesn’t always translate easily to the performance indicators financial stakeholders are used to looking for. 

 

Information Security is Integral to Risk Management 

Banks, investment companies, and insurers are well-aware of the need for effective risk management. Over the past decade, cybersecurity has evolved from an IT sub-department to a strategic asset with its own board-level executive leader.  

As digital transformation initiatives pick up the pace, finance executives are beginning to treat cybersecurity risks as business risks. Specific sectors of the finance industry may treat these risks differently, though: 

    • Banks are focusing on improving organizational resilience to advanced persistent attacks. There is a particular need to protect and remediate legacy systems by investing in comprehensive security technologies. 
    • Investment companies are concerned about the risks of fraud, data breaches, and insider attacks. Security leaders are prioritizing detection and response solutions that can mitigate these risks effectively. 
    • Insurers continue to invest in network monitoring and identity management priorities. These highly connected, data-rich institutions often operate a variety of interoperable services that connect users with other finance organizations.

In each case, cybersecurity is increasingly accepted as an integral part of overall risk management. This puts stress on security leaders, who are expected to deploy next-generation technological solutions, keep legacy systems functioning reliably, and align cybersecurity policies with operational and compliance needs successfully.

 

Improve the Relationship Between Digital Transformation and Information Security

To effectively ensure interoperability between security teams and the rest of the organization, finance leaders will need to challenge some long-lasting preconceptions about how these goals align. Instead of simply adopting the practices used by competitors and predecessors, finance leaders will need to be creative when establishing a new, more balanced approach. 

Executive decision-makers from across the organization will need to take a close look at how security policies impact usability. This requires deep insight into employees’ day-to-day operations, and key performance indicators designed to match operational goals. As those goals change, the optimal set of indicators may have to change as well. 

A renewed focus on the efficiency of day-to-day operations can help security leaders create viable, sustainable plans for meeting digital transformation goals. It can be a deciding factor when choosing between expanding core system vendor contracts or adopting a best-in-class digital platform wholesale. 

Finance leaders are beginning to see security as a process, not a product. The process of securing a legacy core system and the complex set of middleware platforms attached to it is demanding.

On an operational basis, it may require security resources and expertise that the enterprise does not have. Digital-first platforms make deploying highly automated security solutions more feasible.

 

Establish Partnerships that Provide Value to Users and Stakeholders

Whether adding capabilities to a core system or integrating a best-in-class digital platform, today’s finance leaders will increasingly rely on managed security service providers and their technologies. 

Security vendors equipped with highly automated technologies and threat intelligence capabilities can offer improved operational efficiency over in-house solutions. 

Castra is a managed detection and response vendor that provides value through technology partnerships and operational excellence. Our security operations center is outfitted with industry-leading technologies like Exabeam SIEM, Palo Alto Cortex XDR, and Anomali ThreatStream.  

As an operational partner, Castra’s analysts enable financial institutions to reduce the workload they put on in-house security teams. This frees up financial security teams to focus on high-impact strategic goals while knowing competent detection and response services are delivered in real-time. 


Learn how Castra works with Forbes 2021 Top 25 "World's Best Banks" - BankPlus

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Find out how Castra’s team of security experts can help your financial institution address the unique challenges of digital transformation. Let us help you turn cybersecurity into a value-generating asset that reduces enterprise risk according to established performance goals.

Talk with one of our information security experts today!