The BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance) sector has to chalk out a more holistic strategy for ensuring security, based on present requirements.
The need for BFSI security is more evident when you consider how the RBI’s report highlights an increase in frauds linked to debit cards, credit cards, and internet banking, going up to Rs. 63.40 crore for FY20-21 in comparison to Rs. 58.61 crore in FY19-20. If that’s not alarming, then what is?
The digital transition that the industry has accelerated leaves it vulnerable towards repeated threats of hacking owing to the value of the data that it generates.
BFSI Cybersecurity and data protection automatically becomes a key priority for most firms, considering that they hold a large amount of consumer information.
Hence, suitable risk management compliance and other BFSI security measures need to be implemented for not just keeping this data safe, but also securing their own digital networks and systems from intrusions and frauds.
Banks may look at adhering to the cyber security framework and its guidelines as issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), while insurance entities can follow those given by the IRDA.
Some BFSI security measures that may be considered
Here are some security measures for the BFSI space that are worth considering. These include the following:
There could be BFSI Cybersecurity audits taking place periodically, with the appointment of external and independent auditors who will extensively assess overall IT systems and infrastructure, while enabling a better understanding of existing gaps and threats in turn.
With a sizable chunk of people working throughout remote locations, each remote device may be vulnerable towards security threats. Enterprises should first look at securing remote access by using virtual desktops or VPNs. They can also beef up security through multi-factor authentication technologies.
There should be a proper BFSI security policy in place, making sure that software updates are consistently patched. Even one device which is un-patched may lead to hackers getting a chance to gain enterprise network access.
Entities can also tackle patch management issues through leveraging cloud-based solutions for automated patch management or even MDM solutions for remote device upgrades.
Disaster recovery processes are compulsory for BFSI firms, including combating data losses, compliance, and more. From the scalability and cost angle, DR as a Service will help companies lower chances of losing data, while helping them have ready protocols and recovery strategies at hand from any unfortunate Cybersecurity disaster.
Firms can also start using more advanced tech tools including IPS (intrusion prevention systems), new-generation firewalls, and also tapping information from networks on threat intelligence.
BFSI firms can also take steps to enhance awareness amongst their employees with regard to phishing, security measures, and processes that they should keep following regularly.
MSSPs will have access to vast consumer networks, while investing in building top-notch resources and infrastructure. They can also build testing environments for handling attacks on a global scale.
They may also help in the identification of the causes behind most attacks and also predicting and combating them in future. MSSPs may also help companies test and execute new processes and models for security while filling up all other gaps in turn.
They will also help BFSI players gain more visibility of gaps in security across major digital assets, particularly with remote access.
The BFSI space, being a storehouse of invaluable customer information, has to step up its game with regard to Cybersecurity and combating potential threats.
With increasing frauds and attacks, companies should come up with more holistic policies and blueprints that encompass remote location protocols, disaster recovery systems, MSSP or other specialist management, audits, and of course, employee awareness and training.
The importance of proper security in the BFSI segment is unparalleled, considering how banking, insurance, and financial entities hold valuable customer information. Hence, they should have secure systems to prevent leaks or misuse of this data.
Some of the biggest challenges for executing holistic security strategies in the BFSI sector including suitably securing remote access controls, getting employees trained and aware about regular security measures, updates, patching, and other tasks, and of course, budgetary and resource constraints in terms of security tools and other software.
Some of the key components include external and independent Cybersecurity audits and auditors, employee awareness and training, securing remote access controls, leveraging the expertise and services of MSSPs, regular patches and updates, and disaster recovery strategies and protocols.
The BFSI sector can ensure data security compliance by adhering to the framework and guidelines issued by the RBI or IRDA, depending on the entity.
They can accelerate their investments in data security tools, systems, team up with suitable MSSPs and independent Cybersecurity auditors, and build systems for predicting and combating future attacks or threats.