Digital security is something that affects every aspect of our lives, whether you are receiving phishing emails into your domestic email inbox or protecting the data on your internal systems at work, it is a complex and ever-changing process to keep data safe.
There are millions of ways on how computers can become compromised, and the financial sector is a prime target for cybercriminals – the rewards are high, and yet the sector remains vulnerable. There are actions that businesses can take to protect the data that they hold, but first, they need to audit the information that they must fully understand where vulnerabilities to their processes and procedures reside.
- What is the sensitive data that they hold?
- What is it used for?
- Where is it stored?
- Who has access to it?
By understanding the data that you hold you can develop security measures that will protect it now but also be agile enough to respond to future threats successfully. One option is to choose a CASB, a cloud access security broker to ensure that your cloud-hosted software is not only secure but compliant to policies such as the imminent GDPR, but you also need to review your internal security policies so that best practice becomes the norm.
Areas for you to pay attention to include:
- Password strength
Multi-factor authentication for service users is on the increase, and the introduction of two or three step verification is becoming a necessity to protect customer data and the digital environment in which it is stored
- System access
Regulating who has access to areas of your systems allows you to diminish the risk of a security breach. Most of the internal security incidents are unintentional or accidental, and by taking control of the access, you are minimising the risk to your business.
- Timed sessions
To the end user, a session timeout can be an annoyance, but for businesses within the financial sector, they are a valuable security tool. Session expiration enables a business to limit the window of opportunity for a cybercriminal to access data, but it is a fine line to draw between usability and security.
Humans are considered the weakest link in the security chain, and so you must take every step to ensure that your customers and employees alike are kept informed as to how to play their part in keeping data safe, and you must be proactive in communicating information to them. By having a defined cybersecurity policy, your customers and employees will be able to identify any possible attacks that may affect your system.
Behind the scenes, you must ensure that your environment is secure – be certain critical updates are installed, and transactions are monitored so that any unusual activity is investigated. Digital security is essential for protecting financial data but is also a key aspect to developing your brand – customers react positively to businesses that value their security as much as their own, and by proactively communicating with customers you build their trust and can use the information you gain to further customer engagement in marketing terms. A robust digital security policy is critical – prevention is better than cure!
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.