Why the financial services industry must prioritise cybersecurity during internal audits

2 min read
GDPR compliance

GDPR compliance

In recent years, a wave of cyber-attacks, data breaches and leaks have pursued businesses in the financial sector. A report from the NCSC found that 39% of UK-based businesses had a cybersecurity breach or attack in the last 12 months, with the average cost of a cyber attack on a business being £13,400. For firms in the financial services sharing hyper-sensitive data, the potential fallout from a data breach/leak can be even worse.

Financial services companies must prioritise cybersecurity when conducting internal audits to ensure that they are protecting their services from cyber attacks. They need to know that there are several further cyber risk factors to consider when undertaking an internal audit. We’ve discussed them below.

New technologies unlock benefits but create new cyber risks

Financial services companies are investing in new technologies such as chatbots, artificial intelligence, blockchain and automation to enhance their business. However, this shift into a new digital era brings with it a host of new cybersecurity challenges.

For example, a global shift to remote and hybrid working has seen businesses move en masse to cloud services, remote access tools and collaboration apps. However, in the rush to implement these tools, companies may have overlooked security challenges, configured their settings incorrectly or used free tools with questionable security features.

Cybersecurity and data protections are always changing

As cyber threats evolve, so too are cybersecurity regulations that are imposed on financial services firms. GDPR is a famous example, with businesses expected to implement new controls to prevent data leaks.

As we know, failure to comply with regulations can result in huge fines, making them as damaging for financial services organisations as a DDOS or ransomware attack. That’s why businesses must assess how regulation changes will affect them and ask how prepared they are to comply with new rules.

Business transformation can lead to new vulnerabilities

Internal audits of cyber risks must also consider the impact of mergers and acquisitions. When integrating a new business, acquiring companies could be opening a window to hackers, particularly if they don’t conduct proper penetration testing and assess the vulnerabilities in the companies.

As businesses establish closer relationships with third-party vendors and suppliers and share common information systems, they need to ensure that their data isn’t at risk if the other party doesn't have adequate security in place.

Identifying solutions to mitigate cyber risks for financial services companies

An internal audit helps organisations to assess their cybersecurity strategies, but ultimately businesses need platforms that can streamline their security, give them a clear view of potential impacts, and make it easy to remain compliant with changing data regulations.

With Zivver’s email security platform, not only are financial services companies preventing common email mistakes that can result in costly data leaks, but they are able to effectively achieve compliance with GDPR rules and regulations.

Zivver provides a secure solution that will give you a bird’s eye view of your email security, allowing you to prevent data leaks, minimise human error and comply with data protection laws, ensuring your business is prepared for audits in the future.

To find out how Zivver can help enhance your business’ defences against ongoing cybersecurity challenges, download Zivver’s guide to email security in the financial services industry, contact Zivver’s UK office on +44 20 3285 6300, or email contact@zivver.com.

Written by

Kate O'Neill

Originally published on June 11, 2021

Last update on June 11, 2021