Futureproofing resilience in the remote working age

Every year new cybersecurity tools and technologies emerge — yet breaches continue to hit the headlines, exposing banks and finance organisations to great financial, operational and reputational risk. Resource-poor IT leaders are left wondering how to proceed. So, is cybersecurity actually broken? Rob Smith, CTO at award-winning cloud services provider Creative ITC, explains why it’s time to change the game.

It’s well-known that speed of response can make the difference between a cyberattack failing or succeeding. But even when financial firms invest in the latest technologies to boost threat detection and response, breaches still occur. The problem is often not that a tool failed to raise an alert, but worryingly because the alerts were missed or, even worse, ignored. Two in five UK IT teams say they are overwhelmed by security alerts and over half (55%) admit they’ve ignored an identified cybersecurity issue to focus on other business priorities.

With many finance and banking organisations now exploring the viability of long-term hybrid working, IT leaders are all too aware of the increased security risks associated with new working models. The surge in remote working is creating ever more complex IT infrastructures, presenting an expanding attack surface that now combines corporate networks with home devices. Over half of security leaders (52%) feel hard pressed to protect employees’ mobile devices.

Tools are not enough

It’s a common response for organisations to keep adding more tools in the face of rising cybercrime. Yet, threats still slip through the gaps. A recent survey confirmed many IT security teams are overstretched and ill-equipped. Over a quarter (27%) aren’t able to spot a real threat, and an astonishing 30% admit to not knowing how to use their security tools effectively. It’s evident that tools alone are not enough.

Rob Smith,

Three common causes of cyber breaches include:

The human factor

Cyberattacks are snowballing as criminals exploit finance employees as the weakest link in a company’s defences. With ransomware and phishing attack on the rise, user actions (or inactions) that cause, spread or allow a breach now account for an estimated 95% of security issues.

Lack of in-house resources

Stretched in-house teams covering the whole IT stack might not be able to provide 24/7 expert support and can be easily overwhelmed by alerts. Spread too thin, chinks in corporate defences start to appear, such as inadequate training on new tools, weak password management, irregular patching and unclear threat handling and escalation processes.

Budget constraints

Investment in cybersecurity has not always kept pace with the evolving threat landscape. Many firms have prioritised other business areas and digital transformation projects. In particular, small and mid-market players tend to have smaller budgets, potentially putting them in the firing line of cybercriminals as easier targets.

Protecting against cyberattacks can sometimes feel like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. And that’s not going to cut it with growing infrastructure complexity, tighter than ever regulatory requirements and ever-increasing cybercrime.

A new approach to security operations

With growing demand for workforce mobility across the banking and finance sector, we’ve arrived at a tipping point. It’s time for organisations to re-think traditional tool-driven approaches and start building security operations where cybersecurity experts are truly empowered to lead response.

Although many financial businesses rely on in-house teams to develop a more robust security posture, unfortunately, this approach often falls short. In today’s sophisticated cyberthreat environment, self-managed tools like Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems often result in excessive noise from false positives and create blind spots, overwhelming stretched IT teams.

Companies often don’t want to invest in round-the-clock cybersecurity experts. Even if they do, they face the Great Resignation. Many security professionals are thinking about resigning due to work pressures. Skilled replacements are increasingly hard to come by, taking their pick of multiple job offers.

Building a futureproof security posture

Organisations are increasingly leveraging the skills of a strategic security partner to overcome the shortcomings of tools, boost internal teams and ensure a more robust, proactive security posture. Offering cost-effective access to the latest technologies combined with 24/7 human expertise, Security Operations Centre as-a-Service (SOCaaS) solutions provide firms with a with an immediate tactical response to threats, and expert-led strategic learning to strengthen resilience over time.

Look for a specialist provider with proven abilities and technologies to boost your organisation’s existing threat detection and response. They should complement your in-house skillset with a dedicated round-the-clock expert security team who will act rapidly to identify and respond to real threats. Your SOCaaS provider should also assist you to better understand the strategic implications of an attack and provide a roadmap to improve your long-term organisational resilience.

As more banks and finance businesses explore the viability of long-term hybrid and remote working models, many IT teams lack expert resources and visibility across their entire attack surface to be able to detect threats and manage risk effectively. Organisations are increasingly leveraging strategic security partners who can help them comply with evolving operational and regulatory requirements. SOCaaS makes it fast, easy and cost-effective for finance firms of any size to deploy world-class, sustainable security operations. A specialist provider will enable firms build a more robust, proactive and futureproof security posture.


Explore more