Why IT Security Is A Driver Of Digitization

New reality and technologies fuel the business of the future at banks and savings banks. But many financial institutions neglect the most critical driver of digitization: IT security. Order, pay, and insure – with one click: Customers’ demands in e-commerce have been increasing steadily, not just since Corona. Therefore, banks and insurance companies are more than ever required to act quickly and efficiently to meet increased customer expectations. New business models also create opportunities for further growth.

To do this, however, the houses need a stable IT security framework to control the pace of competition in the financial sector. Because the demands on IT in this new world are enormous: Security deficiencies result in irreversible damage to reputation, which can considerably impact business activities and sales. At the same time, banks should focus on a high degree of automation, enabling them to achieve the process efficiency they urgently need.

In addition, the requirements of the supervisory authorities are increasing: The regulators demand the best possible automation of the entire IT security to recognize threat situations faster, control them, and manage them efficiently. This also makes it possible to reduce the human factor’s susceptibility to errors, to which almost every second security incident can be traced.

Technology Is The Driver

Traditional houses are faced with significant challenges: Their existing IT landscape with particular, well-established systems often meets current requirements – neither in terms of standard IT security nor in terms of the necessary speed. Therefore, institutions should seize the opportunity, especially in the cloud age, to set up their IT systems anew. Safety must come first. Only in this way can you automate IT security systems, processes, and compliance requirements and decisively advance digitization in the company. On the other hand, those who are only concerned with making individual improvements to their old systems today will fall behind in the future.

Therefore, the new reality and technology are the drivers for the future business, in which security by design must be taken into account. The automotive industry could serve as a model here, as it designs vehicles at the development stage, passes the necessary safety requirements such as crash tests, and makes economic sense at the same time. Unfortunately, the interplay between the IT components of a car is also poorly implemented from an IT security perspective.

The Way To More IT Security

It is, therefore, all the more crucial that banks put technology first and ask themselves: How big are the individual security ambitions concerning their own IT security? The board of directors’ decision must always come first and must be aware of the risks the financial institution is willing to take. Business planning specifications, any digitization plans, and, of course, regulatory requirements form the basis. Especially in cloud environments, it is essential to consider all areas of IT from a security point of view equally: development, engineering, testing, deployment, data, networks, perimeters, and the systems themselves.

InterLink All Components Optimally

In the end, all the building blocks in this architecture must be optimally interlinked. This can be illustrated using the example of incident response: if a threat occurs, it can be triggered from the Security and Operations Center scenario – also with the help of artificial intelligence. This, in turn, triggers a process that automatically affects risk management and includes the entire organization’s governance in the sense of a clear assignment of tasks. Security by design can ultimately lead to greater efficiency and cost savings at banks.

Financial Institutions Have Some Catching Up To Do

But financial institutions continue to pay too little attention to the topic. Board members often see IT security as a cost item that should be kept as low as possible – and not as a necessary basis for their business. In terms of total costs, setting up new cloud environments is often expensive at first, and many financial service providers shy away from this step. What gets into the background is that the cloud also gives you a premium service for your money that enables scalability and speed.

The in-house data center can usually not do this due to the high integration of various applications. However, in the cloud, a holistic security concept is all the more critical because there are even more gateways for hackers. So it is all the more essential to put architecture first. Those who, in turn, rely on robust and resistant cybersecurity approaches gain a decisive competitive advantage.

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