Connect with us

Finance

IS THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY TAKING ITS CYBER SECURITY OBLIGATIONS SERIOUSLY ENOUGH?

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Anurag Kahol, CTO at Bitglass

 

While cybersecurity is now critically important in every business sector, this is particularly true in the financial services industry. Although financial institutions may vary wildly in terms of the services they offer, one thing they all have in common is the high volume of personally identifiable information (PII) that they collect from customers. This data includes home addresses, financial histories, bank details, and more. Unfortunately, the high value of this data makes it an extremely attractive target for cybercriminals, which is why financial services organisations must take significant steps to ensure it remains protected at all times. In reality, however, does the industry take its security responsibilities seriously enough? Or is it playing fast and loose with our sensitive information despite looming fines and sanctions?

A recent study by Bitglass set out to uncover the state of cybersecurity within the financial services industry. Scrutinising breaches from the past year revealed just how safe our data truly is. The study compiled data from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and the Ponemon Institute. Each year, these organisations conduct studies that provide detailed information about data theft in US financial services organisations. Analysing their records in tandem allowed Bitglass to uncover a wide range of insights about the financial breaches that have occurred over the past twelve months. This article will look at some of the most significant findings from this study and assess the implications for customers everywhere.

 

Financial breaches are rare, but those that do occur can be devastating

In total, only 6.5 percent of all data breaches that occurred over the past 12 months were suffered by financial services organisations – but that doesn’t tell the whole story. That 6.5 percent of breaches accounted for a massive 61.7 percent of all leaked records. This shows that while financial services organisations don’t suffer breaches particularly often, when breaches do occur, they tend to be much larger and more detrimental than those experienced by companies in other industries.

 

Hacking and malware remain the biggest (but not the only) threat by far

As malware continues to evolve, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to detect and block. Consequently, the financial services industry must learn to defend against this ever-growing threat by deploying the right security tools.

Over the past 12 months, hacking and malware have remained the biggest causes of data breaches in the financial services sector by far. They are responsible for 75 percent of all incidents (up slightly from 73.5 percent in 2018). Additionally, insider threats grew from 2.9 percent in 2018 to 5.5 percent today, and accidental disclosures increased from 14.7 percent to 18.2 percent.

Unfortunately, for organisations that struggle with implementing proper security measures, rising cloud adoption will likely only exacerbate these threats. When proper security is not in place, cloud and mobile represent new attack vectors to threat actors.

 

Worryingly, some organisations are not learning their lessons

Maintaining proper visibility and control over data can be challenging – particularly when the appropriate cloud and mobile security solutions are not put in place. Global cloud adoption has reached 86 percent and bring your own device (BYOD) policies have found their way into 85 percent of organisations. Regardless, financial services organisations need to be more cognizant of how their data is being used. Unfortunately, some organisations are still not learning their lessons. Consequently, they are suffering from a worryingly high number of recurring breaches. Even highly-reputable banks can be found at the centre of unenviable, record-breaking breach statistics, like those that have suffered five separate breaches in the last ten years, or Capital One, which suffered four in the last seven years.

 

The cost of each breach is taking an increasingly large financial toll on those involved

The bad news for financial services organisations is that the cost per compromised record has been steadily increasing over the last few years, both for regular breaches as well as mega breaches (i.e. those affecting 100 million individuals or more). The 2019 cost per breached record for mega breaches is now much greater than that of average breaches, with figures standing at $388 and $210, respectively. Additionally, Ponemon notes that the cost per compromised record within financial services now exceeds that of all other industries with the exception of healthcare (which was $429). Technology came in third place at $183, while the public sector came in last at $78.

Whether it’s careless users, malicious insiders, evolving malware, advanced phishing schemes, or something else yet to be discovered, modern financial services organisations face an intimidatingly large number of threats. As guardians of some of the most sensitive customer data in any business world, it’s critical that they adopt a proactive approach to data protection and are properly equipped with the latest security technologies. Only then can they defend against the threat agents in the cyber world.

Finance

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CASH FLOW IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

CASH FLOW

While the world is constantly changing, probably at a faster pace now than ever before, businesses need to manage cash flow and costs to drive success in uncertain times, says Matthew Thorpe, partner at Haines Watts Essex.

 

Managing people and expenses

There are certain costs that you just can’t avoid as a business – to keep your operation running seamlessly, but scrutinise the detail and cut down on any non-essential expenses. Check things like your SaaS subscriptions and look out for costs that auto-renew and if you do cancel, remember to also cancel your direct debits too.

You might want to put a freeze on hiring new people, but ensure that other roles and responsibilities are clearly and efficiently assigned across your team. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been introduced by the Government to help UK employers access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary to avoid redundancies. Affected employees are classed as “furloughed workers”.

Once furloughed, the employee cannot work or they will not qualify for the scheme. For businesses that perhaps need to go further, there may be some roles they don’t need any more, but businesses should work sensitively with people to manage this.

 

Cash is king

In uncertain times, owner managers will need to keep operations going to ensure financial stability. You should look to manage debt more efficiently by negotiating extended payment terms with creditors. You could also renegotiate loans for longer repayment terms to give yourself a lower monthly payment, helping the business to set some cash aside each month.

 

Daily forecasting

As a business owner, you need to create a cash flow projection and update this regularly if you are to improve things. You can do this using financial information to create a picture of how the business will look in the next 12 months. The forecast needs to show revenue sources and expenses, which will show the ups and downs of business income and can be used to make sure that enough finance is in place.

 

Good house-keeping

While banks and other finance providers recognise that the cashflow of a business may be disrupted by the impact of Covid-19, they are still going to want to see that you are viable and continue to trade in these uncertain times. Make sure your business is organised and don’t let disorganisation cause unnecessary issues. You can evidence this by having detailed forecasts; current order books and projections (as best as possible).

Having instantly accessible, accurate financial information allows you to plan effectively, spot issues before they become problems and manage your money in the most efficient and rewarding way.

 

Embrace technology

Software is now incredibly user-friendly and accessible from anywhere. For a business owner embracing the technology, this means:

  • Invoicing can be done instantly when a job is complete, emailed to the customer with an easy to use link to a payment platform.
  • Comparison websites can automatically monitor and help maintain lowest cost for things such as light & heat, insurance etc.
  • Technology can be used in place of face-to-face meetings. It can also enable them to adapt production lines to different demands.

All of these things and more, used properly, can make managing your business finances quicker, easier and often cheaper.  You will also be able to bring clarity to where your business stands and prepare for the next steps.

 

Continue Reading

Finance

HOW FINANCIAL SERVICES CAN GET TO GRIPS WITH RISING SUPPLY CHAIN RISK

FINANCIAL SERVICES

By Alex Saric, smart procurement expert, Ivalua

 

UK businesses have never been more dependent on their suppliers to help them deliver goods and services to their customers. Be it retail, manufacturing or financial services, suppliers have a vital role to play when it comes to innovation and meeting customer expectations. However, as supply chains become increasingly global, businesses are potentially exposing themselves to more risk than ever before.

This is especially true in financial services. Whether it’s the impact of geopolitical events like Brexit or global tariff wars, supply shortages, security or the businesses impact on the environment, an organisation’s failure to identify and mitigate risk could see millions wiped off its share price, and its corporate reputation left in tatters. Risk can present itself anywhere and at any time, so financial services firms must be ready to address it. However, many simply don’t have the ability to evaluate suppliers for risk factors, leaving them wide open to business operations being hindered, or being slapped with financial penalties.

 

More suppliers, increasing risk

One reason why financial services firms aren’t able to evaluate suppliers is the breadth and scale of today’s supply chains. For example, French oil company Total said in in a recent human rights briefing paper that they work with over 150,000 direct suppliers worldwide. This is just one example of how large and varied the roster of partners has become. Research from Ivalua has found that financial services businesses on average are working with around 3,600 suppliers annually, which is evenly split between UK-based and international partners. That number is expected to rise, with 60% expecting the number of suppliers they work with to rise.

The expanding nature of suppliers is only going to expose financial services firms to more potential risk than ever before, yet 78% say they face challenges gaining complete visibility into suppliers and their activities.

A lack of supplier visibility leaves businesses unable to identify and mitigate against supply chain risk. In fact, almost three-quarters (73%) of financial services firms have experienced some type of risk during the last 12 months. These include; supplier failure (43%), environmental impact, such as pollution or waste (35%) and supply shortages (45%). Supply shortages can be among the most damaging to a business, as seen by both the KFC chicken shortage which closed stores, and the summer 2018 CO2 shortage which caused companies such as Heineken and Coca-Cola to pause production, impacting supply across Europe during the World Cup.

 

Businesses unprepared for the worst

One way financial services firms can better prepare for risk is to ensure they know what to plan for to reduce the impact. However, whilst some say they have a contingency plan in place to deal with risk, many of them are unprepared. Financial services firms admitted to not having comprehensive and deployed contingency plans in place to prepare the supply chain for risk such as; natural disasters (68%), supply shortages (67%), geopolitical changes (65%), environmental impact (63%), supplier failure (62%) and modern slavery (50%).

In order to effectively prepare for these types of risks, it’s vital that financial services businesses fully understand their suppliers, their business environment, global variations in regulations, geopolitics, and a host of other factors. But for many, there are multiple challenges when it comes to gaining this understanding. A prevailing factor is an inability to gain visibility into all suppliers and activity because supplier management data is stored in multiple locations and formats, making insights difficult to access. This leaves teams unable to review supplier activity and assess compliance.

 

Making supplier management smarter

It’s imperative that financial services businesses are able to respond or prepare for supply chain risk. Clearly, much more needs to be done to ensure they have complete visibility of suppliers, especially in an era where regulators can levy heavy fines for GDPR breaches and scandals spread in minutes over social media. These types of risks can be reduced in the future if procurement teams have a 360-degree view of suppliers which will help with contingency planning and risk management.

For example, in the instance of supply shortages, plans could be put in place that identify alternative suppliers to ensure any shortages do not impact end users. This type of supplier collaboration is paramount when it comes to managing and mitigating against supplier shortages. When it comes to regulations, financial services firms can’t allow a lack of visibility to limit their ability to ensure all suppliers are compliant.

To do this, teams must take a smarter approach to procurement that gives complete visibility into suppliers throughout the supply chain. This will allow financial services firms to identify and plan for risk, reducing the potential damage, and ensuring they are working with and awarding business to low-risk suppliers. Supply chain risk is rapidly becoming an overarching concern for financial services firms, but by providing the ability to assess suppliers, they will have all the insights they need to mitigate the impact on business operations.

 

Continue Reading

Magazine

Partner Events

Trending

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
Technology1 day ago

HOW TO KEEP DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION ON TRACK AFTER THE PANDEMIC

Ashley Coker, CEO and founder, Slate   Introduction The global coronavirus health emergency has made it abundantly clear how dependent...

DIGITAL BANKING DIGITAL BANKING
Banking1 day ago

THE FUTURE OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IN DIGITAL BANKING

By Richard Billington, Chief Technology Officer, Netcall Over the past five years, the digital banking revolution has had a seismic...

COVID-19 COVID-19
Banking1 day ago

TRANSFORMING BANKING: WHY COVID-19 IS UNFREEZING CONSUMER HABITS

Raj Chakraborty, Senior Managing Director, Publicis Sapient   There is much debate about the impact of COVID-19 on the economy....

LEASE LEASE
Business1 day ago

IS YOUR OFFICE LEASE CRUSHING YOUR BOTTOM LINE? YOU HAVE OPTIONS

By Jonathan Wasserstrum, Founder / CEO, SquareFoot These are unprecedented times for us all. Nobody has a playbook to get...

HOME HOME
Wealth Management1 day ago

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF TRADERS TRADING FROM HOME

Steve Haworth, CEO of TeleWare Group Banks had hoped to keep their London trading floors open amid the worsening coronavirus...

OPEN BANKING OPEN BANKING
Banking1 day ago

HOW WILL REVOLUT’S MOVE INTO OPEN BANKING AFFECT US?

By Richard Mathias, Senior Technology Architect at LiveArea Despite current uncertainty, the financial services sector is experiencing transformative change year...

AUTHENTICATION AUTHENTICATION
Technology1 day ago

IN CONSUMER BIOMETRICS WE TRUST: AUTHENTICATION FOR THE DATA PRIVACY AGE

Jonas Andersson, Head of Standardization at Fingerprints Data privacy is high on the global agenda. In the wake of data...

COVID-19 COVID-19
Business6 days ago

CAPITAL MARKETS – LIQUIDITY MANAGEMENT DURING COVID-19

Tony Farnfield, Partner at management and technology consultancy, BearingPoint   When “Dr. Doom” predicted the 2008 financial crisis back in...

SONY BANK SONY BANK
News6 days ago

SONY BANK SECURES AND ENHANCES MOBILE BANKING WITH ONESPAN’S MOBILE SECURITY SUITE

App shielding, biometric authentication and additional technologies secure and improve the customer experience for Sony Bank’s mobile banking app  ...

MOBILE BANKING MOBILE BANKING
News6 days ago

KOREA’S KB BANK USES TRUSTONIC IN-APP PROTECTION TO ENHANCE MOBILE BANKING EXPERIENCE

Using Trustonic Application Protection enables KB Bank to dramatically improve the authentication experience for users of its mobile banking app...

Customer Customer
News7 days ago

CUSTOMER CARE TODAY WILL BUILD RESILIENCE FOR FUTURE CRISES

Cathal McGloin, CEO of ServisBOT writes, “The COVID-19 pandemic has created major spikes in calls to financial sector helplines dealing with customers...

CREDIT CARD MARKET CREDIT CARD MARKET
Banking1 week ago

THE CO-BRAND CREDIT CARD MARKET – SINK OR SWIM

By Chris Vinnicombe, VP Financial Services at Acxiom The co-brand credit card market is the result of the partnerships between...

CASH FLOW CASH FLOW
Finance1 week ago

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CASH FLOW IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

While the world is constantly changing, probably at a faster pace now than ever before, businesses need to manage cash...

BUSINESS BUSINESS
News1 week ago

NEW IVALUA STUDY SHOWS TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES ARE HINDERING PROCUREMENT TEAMS FROM ACHIEVING BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

Lack of system integrations and actionable insights are stopping organisations from accurately measuring performance   Ivalua, a leading provider of global...

FINANCIAL SERVICES FINANCIAL SERVICES
Technology1 week ago

WHY DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN FINANCIAL SERVICES IS ABOUT CULTURE FIRST, TECH SECOND

Stuart Templeton, Head of UK at Slack    In today’s world, there’s no such thing as a ‘non-tech fin’. Every...

COVID-19 COVID-19
Business1 week ago

STOP THE CONFUSION: HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR BUSINESS MAY BE INSURED AGAINST COVID-19

By Alex Balcombe, Partner at Harris Balcombe   The last few weeks has seen businesses in hospitality, tourism, retail, leisure...

PAYMENTS PAYMENTS
Top Stories1 week ago

BRAVE NEW WORLD: A FUTURISTIC VISION OF PAYMENTS

James Booth, VP, Head of Partnerships in EMEA for PPRO   Over the last ten years, the retail e-commerce ecosystem...

KLEVIO KLEVIO
Interviews1 week ago

A PROPTECH FOUNDER’S BEGINNING, THE START OF KLEVIO AND HOW ACCESS-TECH IMPROVES FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

An interview with Klevio’s CEO and Co-Founder, Aleš Špetič    What is Klevio?  Klevio is a smart intercom that allows...

COVID-19 COVID-19
Wealth Management1 week ago

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN LEARN TO TRADE RISK-FREE DURING THE COVID-19 MARKET CRASH

Trading app BullBear has launched new features to support budding investors looking to hone their skills against the backdrop of...

INSURANCE INSURANCE
Top Stories1 week ago

ENTERPRISE BLOCKCHAIN: DRAGGING INSURANCE OUT OF THE DARK AGES

Ryan Rugg, Global Head of The Industry Business Unit at R3   The history of insurance traces back to the development...

Trending