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2 min read

Cybersecurity in the financial industry

2 min read

Cybersecurity in the financial industry

 

With the advent of digitization, companies have more and more channels enabled on the network.

Companies in the financial sector, banks, finance companies, insurance companies, and cooperatives, among others, provide many services digitally; this is already a fundamental issue for this sector and rather compete by innovating with new and more digital services.

However, this poses a significant challenge for this sector, which has to do with the whole cybersecurity issue and permeates various organization and service infrastructure levels.

The number of channels and tools with which the financial sector provides services to its customers (external and internal) is evident: Apps, service portals, information sites, email services, VPN, teleworking, Etc. This reality increases the risk of attacks in a sector that has always been a "favorite" of hackers.

digital Cybersecurity

And it is in the financial sector where more and very diverse sensitive customer data is handled:

  • Personal information, name, and contact information.
  • Income, companies, profits.
  • Taxes.
  • Family data.
  • Credit cards, bank accounts, and financial products.
  • Important dates of receipt of payment.
  • Authorized data.


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The financial sector's risks in terms of cybersecurity range from technical aspects to human aspects. Some factors that consider these two aspects:

  • Infrastructure is not tested regularly, proactively looking for vulnerabilities.
  • Outdated system versions without the latest security updates applied.
  • Unique accesses without proper management.
  • Equipment connected to unsecured networks.
  • Weak password and authentication policy in the organization.
  • Access management must terminate (change of positions, personnel departures, temporary).
  • Secure operation strategies for remote work.
  • Guidelines for monitoring suspicious behavior.
  • Employees are not informed of the security risks present.

As we can see, these aspects of cybersecurity involve the necessary and appropriate technological tools and the necessary processes to provide organizations with secure ways of operating that can be audited and constantly improved.

 What is secure today is no longer secure tomorrow. Just as we are advancing every day with more and better systems in organizations, hackers are also constantly "innovating" in the way they carry out their criminal activities to find new vulnerabilities.

The UN says, every 39 seconds, computer attacks are registered, figure increasing quantity and complexity.

Challenges are many, and the best initiative to manage this reality is not to take it lightly. The accelerated digitalization that we have experienced as a result of the pandemic is a factor that has played against us since "there was no time" to properly integrate the cybersecurity chapter within the various digital transformation initiatives of some companies.

So here are ten concrete actions that will help mitigate the risk of vulnerabilities:

  1. Every digitization project must have the time and resources to assess cybersecurity.
  2. Validate your security scheme systematically and periodically to improve your defenses constantly.
  3. Review, strengthen and improve your authentication and permissions management policies.
  4. Be clear about your software and hardware assets inventory to keep them up to date with the security patches constantly released by manufacturers.
  5. Pay special attention to pieces of software that are obsolete or no longer have regular updates from the manufacturer.
  6. Awareness and understanding of the problem are necessary at all levels of the organization, from management to operational staff; this will be the first line of defense before the bits and bytes.
  7. The cybersecurity team must be actively involved in defining digitization, remote work, access, and data management processes. 
  8. Use recognized platforms and services that provide objective support for your digitization applications, such as Adobe, AWS, Azure, and Cloudflare
  9. Implement a regulatory compliance matrix, which allows a gradual but sustained implementation; we know that the task can be overwhelming and very demanding on resources. 
  10. Processes are the key to having a 360-degree view of where we are and where we need to go with security procedures. Update and test them constantly; you will be surprised at the vulnerabilities you can discover.


Cybersecurity


In conclusion, cybersecurity is an increasingly crucial issue within financial organizations and has become more relevant due to the accelerated digitalization processes of the last two years.

The defense factor is not only technical, and it involves processes, organizational culture, and people's awareness to understand that all of this can represent vulnerabilities that hackers can use.

If you have any questions about updating your digitization tools or how to update your processes, feel free to contact us.



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