Financial sector: It’s time to support the data security ecosystem

Every year, organizations in the financial industry invest billions of dollars in solutions, technologies and projects that aim to improve data security. Any company’s reputation relies on its customers’ trust, but financial companies can live and die by their data security posture – after all, customers need to trust financial firms to securely handle and manage their monetary assets. When this factor is coupled with the strict compliance regulations faced by financial organizations, the stakes are high for companies seeking that trust.

Despite the need for tight security among financial organizations, a recent study by SecurityScorecard found that companies in the American financial industry continue to face high risks for data breaches and malware attacks. Nearly 75 percent of organizations surveyed have been affected by a modern financial crimes botnet, despite companies’ efforts to increase network and endpoint security. Alex Heid, chief research officer at Security Scorecard, told SC Magazine that his team expected security threats to generally focus on companies with low endpoint and network security scores. Instead, across the scope of financial institutions surveyed, legacy IT systems and outdated software caused a wide variety of security vulnerabilities.

How to combat the norm: Simplify IT and security, invest in ecosystem growth

As security solutions that focus on every level of the IT stack continue to mature and integrate with one another, the security ecosystem grows – leaving fewer vulnerabilities exposed to threats. However, there’s still a long way to go before companies can ensure protection throughout their organizations, and in the race to beat security threats, some financial organizations exhaust their budgets on strategies and solutions that only complicate their environments.

For financial institutions to protect their businesses and customers, they must ensure data security begins at the data level. By building awareness into security efforts from the ground up, companies can focus on identifying and protecting their sensitive data, minimizing threats related to user behavior and supporting the growth of the security ecosystem. As SecurityScorecard’s survey found, organizations with the most effective security profiles focus on educating employees and conducting forensic investigations of their data – rather than leaning on legacy systems that blur visibility into their stored information or amassing a complicated, disjointed array of security tools.

Learn more about how financial organizations can support security ecosystem growth.

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Andrew Hay

Andrew Hay

With over 15 years of data security experience in various roles inside organizations as well as advising them, Andrew serves as the chief information security officer at DataGravity. He is responsible for the development and delivery of the company’s comprehensive data security strategy. Prior to DataGravity, Andrew was the director of research at OpenDNS (acquired by Cisco) and the director of applied security research and chief evangelist at CloudPassage.