Cybersecurity threats have kept pace with the digitalization of the world economy, forcing companies across all sectors to continually invest in upgrading their defenses to protect critical data and information. The financial services sector is particularly sensitive to cyber threats because of its strategic role in the economy.
Looking at the growing digital security challenges, the financial industry is dedicating a significant amount of resources to build virtual resilience. According to a Gartner study, in 2017, the global spending on cybersecurity products and services exceeded $100 billion, and is estimated to increase materially with each passing year.
Latest technological innovations, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology are changing the face of the financial services sector, but at the same time, they are changing the risk profile of the industry to online threats. As companies embrace these new technologies, they also need to reconfigure their internet security systems that address the new risks that are emerging with these innovations.
Businesses can adopt a number of strategies to reduce their cybersecurity risks. While investing in preventative safeguards is critical, it is equally crucial for companies to build capabilities to respond and recover from a serious virtual attack when it does occur. The internal online security teams or service providers should know the vulnerable areas within the organization’s services where breaches can happen.
Based on that understanding, they can formulate recovery strategies that enable the company to fully or partially recover the business services that have come under attack. Secondly, it is vital for the teams to comprehend and test the controls that are or will be implemented to reduce the risks.
With these capabilities and preparedness in place, a financial services organization will be in a stronger position to anticipate and deal with the virtual security risks and mitigate operational friction and losses when a cyberattack takes place.
Going forward, it is critical for financial institutions and financial services firms to evolve and develop their virtual resilience and internet security practices. Once they recognize the potential impact of data breaches, online thefts, and other malicious network activity on their business as well as the larger financial ecosystem, they can direct a proportionate level of resources to build resilience and response capabilities.
Companies should also understand the internet risk management capabilities of third party vendors and others with whom their business is intricately linked. They should interact with these sector participants in order to create sector-wide responses and solutions against potential digital threats.