The financial industry is one of the leaders in adopting new technology to service and protect its customers, and recent developments in technology have given the industry countless opportunities to do so even more. Digital systems are now the beating heart of many areas of the financial services business, opening up new communication links across all channels, including mobile and social engagement with customers and suppliers.
However, these advancements also have the ability to expose companies to potential risk. Unfortunately, we don’t have to go very far to find news of cyberattacks against financial institutions. Practically everywhere we look, we see the media reporting the aftermath of a major data breach.
Whether your company is a retail bank or commercial bank with branch offices scattered across the world, an insurance company, or a multi-billion dollar trading company, the data your company possesses is highly valuable and cyber criminals will design highly creative methods to obtain it.
The Financial Services IT Environment
Financial environments have highly demanding IT infrastructures and networks, where perimeters are no longer well defined. Threats grow more intelligent every day, and we need to define the right way to protect these companies in an ever-evolving threat landscape. This means that integrated solutions are needed, while maintaining complete visibility into operations with centralized security management.
It is for these reasons that financial institutions can benefit from a robust, integrated security management platform with the following capabilities:
Integrated Security: It is well known that point product methods are widely adopted today. This is not the road to improving security efficiency. Many solutions mean many consoles with different interfaces to manage. It also means data silos. The ideal situation is for all aspects of security – from policy management and device management to threat management – to be integrated into a single platform and managed holistically.
Security Automation: While end-to-end automated security controls are still a thing of the future, there are aspects of security management that can now be automated. These include repetitive tasks and security provisioning in the cloud. To keep pace in cloud environments where applications or services are provisioned in and out constantly, security has to be embedded into the fabric of the cloud infrastructure and automated – not sitting outside of it
Efficient Operations: With the emergence of on-demand services and agile DevOps, it makes sense to parse security provisioning out to the same teams responsible for these services and applications. A security policy that is segmented according to function makes it possible to operationalize security; delegating routine configuration tasks frees up security teams to focus on security monitoring and incidence response.
Visibility: Full-spectrum visibility into the security environment has three main benefits: it helps build benchmarks of what is considered normal behavior in the environment, allows for automated event response, and most importantly, gives a single view of risk. Security challenges intensify when there is a lack of accurate visibility for incident detection and response. You cannot monitor or protect devices and information you can’t see. Before security teams can do anything to protect their environment, they need to see and understand what is happening or about to happen.
The Bottom Line
There is wide propagation of point security products available throughout the industry. However, most of these products tend to be reactive and tactical in nature rather than architecturally oriented. Today’s financial companies need a single architecture that combines high-performance network security devices with real-time proactive protections.
Learn how robust security management can help address the needs of your financial institution, here.
Jessica Cooper focuses on solution markets at Check Point Software Technologies, including retail, healthcare and financial services. Before joining Check Point, she spent several years in product and solutions roles in big data and machine intelligence companies. Today, Jessica’s passion lies in cyber security, the Internet of Things and emerging technologies. Find her on Twitter @thoughtcosm.