Top signs your financial services institution is due for a cybersecurity upgrade

The financial services industry experienced 566 data breaches globally this year, with government organizations being the only sector higher on the list of the top known breaches by sector, according to threat intelligence firm Flashpoint.

Clearly the Flashpoint data, which also cited 254 million leaked FinServ records, tells us how lucrative a target financial services firms are for cybercriminals. That’s why mission-critical web applications and APIs must be constantly protected from exploits and automated attacks that can disrupt business intelligence, slow app performance, and enable account takeover (ATO) that can lead to fraud.

But how do you know when your cybersecurity resources may not be best aligned to handle the latest challenges? The following are some of the top signs your current cybersecurity setup is struggling to maintain effectiveness.

Faced with choosing effectiveness or ease-of-use

Implementing a cybersecurity solution that is both effective and easy to use has left many credit union IT professionals frustrated. Ditch the pros and cons list associated with choosing effectiveness over ease-of-use, and vice versa—and deploy a security solution that has both and is:

  • Delivered via a SaaS form factor and includes automatic vulnerability patching, which means no hardware or software to manage and maintain
  • Easily managed via UI or via API, which can be used to speed up/automate deployment and management tasks as well as integrate with existing app solutions and workflows—as in literally can be up and running in a few minutes
  • Designed to help organizations simplify app infrastructure and tools, reducing # of vendors and creating consistency in their environment across clouds, their existing data centers, on-prem, etc.
  • Able to enhance/increase collaboration across teams—with self-service and separation of duties enabling teams (Devs, SecOps, NetOps, etc.) to operate within a common platform, with a set of services for groups to work together in enabling modern apps

Cybersecurity operational expenses are soaring

Frequently, IT teams are short-staffed to handle all the responsibilities required of their department. Sure, they do what they can with the solutions they have, and most the time are extremely effective. However, even the smallest vulnerabilities can lead to catastrophic results. Managed services augment your in-house resources and decrease operational expenses with a solution that is deployed and maintained by certified experts.

Consider selecting solutions that are backed by sophisticated threat campaigns intelligence feeds, so you’ll sleep better at night knowing that your apps and APIs will always be protected against the latest and most sophisticated attacks.

User frustration from unnecessary security friction and latency are mounting

Balancing usability with high security efficacy is one of the most difficult aspects of any digital experience. The goal undeniably is to use security to protect your users. But while strict security and fraud controls may stop some attackers, they will impact the experience for all.

Conventional security mitigations like CAPTCHA and SMS-based multi-factor authentication (MFA) can introduce unwanted friction into the digital experience. When account holders or employees are unhappy, it leads to user dissatisfaction and increased support costs. Ironically, fraudsters can easily bypass these tools. To keep online and mobile experiences seamless, while preventing fraud at the same time, you need a security strategy that’s more effective and less invasive.

DevOps is being slowed down by security constrictions

Speedy innovation cannot come at the expense of security. The right cybersecurity tools make security a part of the development process from the beginning. Credit unions can address vulnerabilities before deployment, resulting in more secure applications without compromising innovation. ​

Managing hardware and software takes up an unreasonable amount of time

Even though this one is briefly included in the above ease-of-use section, it really does merit a dedicated expansion here, along with a few key questions to ask yourself:

  • How difficult is it to deploy and maintain your security solution?
  • Does the user or administrator have to install custom endpoint software, or is protection automatic?
  • If there is no endpoint presence, how does the vendor detect rooted mobile devices?
  • How does it detect attacks using the latest security tools and data from the Dark Web? What about APIs?

Consider deploying a security solution delivered via a SaaS form factor that runs across clouds and architectures, seamlessly deploying customized protections that maximize visibility and security efficacy without introducing friction to the application development lifecycle or customer experience.

In a complex world, credit unions don’t have time to stay ahead of every potential security risk; they need a solution that reduces complexity while improving security and performance. If you’re questioning whether your in-house cybersecurity resources are still cutting it, I highly recommend seeking out consultations with trusted cybersecurity partners for an assessment.

Chad Davis

Chad Davis

Chad Davis is Industry Sr Solutions Marketing Manager, F5 Networks, which is the leader in app security and multi-cloud management. He can be reached at Web: Details