Cybersecurity will continue to evolve as the financial world changes. As hackers become more elusive, banks need to ensure that their cloud services are sophisticated and secure enough to withstand attacks or attempted breaches. Read the article below for more information.
As the financial world changes, becoming more interconnected and inclusive, the ever-moving target of cybersecurity will continue to evolve. Mitigation will, therefore, demand a collaborative approach from financial services companies across the industry.
While financial services are generally among the best performing industries in cyber management, it is becoming more interconnected with sectors that do not perform as well. As integration between large, mature banks and smaller fintech or companies in retail, travel or entertainment becomes more common, new threats emerge.
Counteracting this, companies of all industries and sizes, including banks, are shifting data storage to the cloud to benefit from the sophisticated security that providers can offer. HSBC, who uses Google’s cloud to store its 100 petabytes of data, for example, knows that the tech giant can spend a great deal more on its cyber defenses.
While the defenses provided by Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Google, and IBM are far more secure than those that even a major bank can provide on its own (let alone a fintech start-up) they are not insurmountable and will prove particularly enticing targets to hackers.
“Cloud providers have suffered breaches though, 2019 gave us some examples of this,” says Steve Holt, partner at EY.
“We expect hackers to really test cloud providers, as they know how much more data is being hosted.”
The cloud market is becoming increasingly consolidated with five providers accounting for over 75% of market share, according to research by Gartner in July last year.
With companies across different industries and sectors so interconnected, it should follow that a collaborative approach is required in order to cope with the evolving threats posed by hackers.
Experts often speak of the need for organizations to take an integrated rather than siloed approach to their cyber management, ensuring robust defense and the diligent process is being followed across all areas of an organization, as hackers will inevitably detect and exploit weak points.
Across the different siloes of cyber management – systems, processes, people – it is important to keep raising the bar because leaving it lower in one area leaves a company vulnerable to advanced persistent threats.
Taking this approach and applying it to the financial services industry as a whole, it is important that all participant companies – banks, fintech, and players from other sectors who are interconnected – meet a high standard to ensure that potential chinks in the armor can be identified and addressed.
Collaboration between entities like SWIFT and SEPA, the tech giants listed above, and major banks and payment providers like Visa and Mastercard could create a market-wide cybersecurity command center, to ensure that the bar remains consistently high across all areas of financial services and all companies involved therein.
“Key to this type of collective action is a trust which allows full transparency and central reporting,” says Karel De Kneef, SWIFT’s chief security officer. “Implementing mandatory reporting requirements and reporting timelines would be the first step in creating an effective market-wide command center.
“If those setting up a command center follow these steps and involve the wider community in the process, then a market-wide command center could be realized. In my view, this would be welcomed as a positive development by both financial and cybersecurity industries.”