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Back to the Future of Security in Financial Services

If the past few years have taught the world anything, it is that no business is safe online. Cyber criminals are targeting financial services organisations and this battle will rage on until security experts have found a way to stop the flow of new exploits and vulnerabilities.  Recently, some of the world’s biggest telecoms, financial services and critical infrastructure companies suffered greatly as a result of cyber attacks. Customers of these businesses suffer most as their data is the golden nectar cyber criminals are swarming to steal. 

The impact of cyber attacks on customer experience is obvious. When it is as serious as the TalkTalk hack, which compromised 1.2 million user identities, it is easy to identify where the damage is done and why customers are unhappy. Perception is reality and organisations are reliant on the quality of customer experience they provide. Established banks have a very rich pool of customer data and being seen to be insecure is simply not an option. So, securing data ranks high in a CIO’s list of priorities as well as making the data useful for new innovations and products. 

Today, customer data has more value than ever before because it is growing faster than ever before as user habits are being logged on smartphones and social media. This new and old data provides banks with the intelligence which can build better products and driving bigger profits. Being able to secure data will set a bank apart from its competition. Any breach of data dents consumer confidence in the brand and overall customer experience. 

Ensuring the protection of banking technology systems is getting more difficult as legacy IT systems wilt with the passing of time and talent which can work with aging technology is diminishing through time. Many banks have come under pressure to update their legacy systems to ensure they keep pace with ever evolving cyber threats. Losing data does not only look bad for customer relationships, but it inhibits banks from using the data which form the base of new products and services.

Banks need not to be defensive and should endeavour to stay transparent with their customers to continue to have a customer centric view in their pursuit of a better security infrastructure.

Security, good or bad, has a direct consequence on the customer experience and it's imperative that good hygiene is practiced. Russian banks suffered £167 million worth of losses over the last year as criminals ramp up their efforts to breach systems, which highlights this problem is on the rise and it is a universal issue. Security of data can be a unique selling point for banks as modern threats continue to evolve because they need to tighten any loopholes in old and new IT systems. Most consumers expect a robust system to handle their data and it’s time that banks provide this reassurance.

Until an alternative, more lucrative industry has been identified, criminals will always target banks as it is where the money is. It would be unwise if bank executives in London, New York and elsewhere sink their heads into the sand over the issue of cyber security. Breaches do happen every day but protecting data, or making it really hard to steal, are most important. A safe bank is an easy win for customer experience as customers know their bank can be trusted to keep their money and data secure.

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