Financial Services Security: 3 Steps To Add Additional Protection

blog post financial service security

It has become increasingly critical for financial institutions to fortify their security measures, especially in light of the rising threats posed by data breaches within the finance industry over the past years. In this blog post, we will explore three essential steps to enhance the security of your financial services organization.

Over the last decade, the finance sector has witnessed a significant surge in cyberattacks and data breaches, leading to severe financial losses, compromised customer information, and reputational damage.

High-profile incidents such as the T-mobile data breach in 2022 and the Capital One breach in 2019 exposed the vulnerabilities within the industry, highlighting the urgent need for robust security measures. These breaches not only affected millions of individuals but also triggered regulatory scrutiny and increased public concerns about the protection of personal and financial data.

In the face of these evolving threats, financial services firms must take proactive steps to fortify their security posture and protect their customers’ sensitive information.

How to add additional security for your financial services organization

By implementing comprehensive security strategies and embracing cutting-edge technologies, financial institutions can effectively prevent data breaches and reinforce their position as trusted custodians of their clients’ financial well-being.

1. Be aware of today’s threat areas

Every corporation will have its own set of data security areas of threat, risks, and gaps. Morgan Stanley’s was clearly internal; however, yours may be more in line with that of many banks and other financial organizations today – insecure mobility.

2. Take a hard look at mobile security

For example, one new study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India says that the increasing use of mobile devices and apps in financial services is increasing risk and data insecurity as well.

“Smartphone users rarely check for security certificates and download apps and other software from third party or unsecured sites, it said.

‘Mobile banking apps store data such as PIN, account number on the phone. So, there is a risk that if the phone is hacked or stolen, then the information is compromised,’ the report said.

Mobile frauds are an area for concern not just for individuals but corporates (sic) as well, with 35-40 per cent of financial transactions done via mobile devices. The percentage of transactions on the platform are expected to go up to 55-60 per cent in 2015, the industry body added.”

This piece from InformationWeek’s WallStreet & Technology lists five requirements that financial services firms must meet to ensure an appropriate level of mobile security:

  1. Secure network communication
  2. Secure local data storage
  3. Protection against malware
  4. Secure authentication
  5. Remote disablement

3. Balance customer needs with security

However, locking down your apps so much they’re a pain for consumers to use or giving up on mobility entirely isn’t the answer.

Finextra says that as banks “strike a balance between integrating customized retail banking services and ensuring the protection of customer data, they should be keeping a few key P’s in mind:” personalization, permissioning, provisioning, and participation.

That means that banks must find a way to balance asking for customers’ personally identifiable information, or PII, with ways to improve security. Those methods might include tightening controls on both data at rest and data in motion, enabling two-factor authentication, and/or customer education campaigns to – for example – prevent them from responding to phishing attacks via SMS.