Digital Vision: Digital Banking

Safer Banking

Prescriptive security for banking institutions

Olaf Badstubner, Global Director, Financial Services & Insurance, Atos

As digital has become part of the banking world, so too have sophisticated cyber-attackers. How can we ensure our banks remain safe from cybercrime? Prescriptive security offers one route, employing these technologies can safeguard our banks and customers as we continue on our digital transformation journey.

The potential of AI to transform business performance is only now starting to be more widely understood in Financial Services. This is nowhere clearer than in the security domain, where the fusion of big data, advanced analytics and machine learning promises to deliver startling improvements in cyber security through the introduction of Prescriptive Security.

This transition from a world of predictive security to one focused around prescriptive security presents huge opportunities for financial service providers, enabling them to safeguard those using their services through enhanced analytics, threat intelligence and sophisticated automated responses.

New opportunities and new threats

As the tools used by banks and other financial service providers have become more innovative, so too have those deployed by criminals and bad actors seeking to exploit the new digital landscape.

Cybersecurity has therefore become a vital investment for the sector. This is reflected in the huge resources devoted to this area by the world’s leading banks, with J.P. Morgan Chase spending nearly $600 million each year to strengthen its cyber defenses and in the face of “a constant stream of attacks.” This is not surprising. Research by the Boston Consulting Group has found banks and financial institutions are 300 times more at risk of cyber-attack than companies in other sectors.

The threat posed by cybercrime goes beyond the immediate disruption cause by the crime itself, with those banks that find themselves most impacted by cyber-attacks facing the prospect of an impacted ability to refinance because they are downgraded in analyst rankings.

Enabling a prescriptive response to the cyber threat

Identifying security risks – and sometimes even knowing when cyber-attacks are underway – presents financial service providers big and small with huge challenges. These challenges have become more acute as banks have transitioned more of their operations onto digital platforms, presenting more opportunities for cyber-attackers. The task facing banks, as they manage this digital transition, is ensuring that the tools they deploy to detect and neutralize cyber-attacks keep up with the pace of technological change and innovation. A crucial way to achieve this is by using prescriptive security technology, which can scrutinize large amounts of data to identify key indicators that might suggest a cyber-attack is taking place.

Prescriptive security is, at its heart, a fusion of technologies and processes designed to reduce the time and effort needed to detect and respond effectively to cyber security threats and incidents. A critical aspect of prescriptive security is its use of automation and artificial intelligence technologies. It is vital that the exact combination of technologies and processes – including where and at what level automation is used – is based on a thorough understanding of the organization’s specific risk profile and level of risk appetite.

By implementing prescriptive security, the ever more precious human resource of analysts is freed up to focus on higher-priority, actionable scenarios. At the same time, the organization gets better not only at detecting and responding to security incidents but also at predicting, preventing and pre-empting risks and incidents.

Against a backdrop of increasingly sophisticated and diverse cyber security threats, prescriptive security is becoming business-critical for public and private sector organizations to protect their people, customers, systems, networks, and data from any kind of harmful breach or attack.

Security Operations in a New Generation

Prescriptive Security is paramount for banks when addressing the need for increased security complexity in our digital age, with big data and artificial intelligence being key for this new generation of security operations. This technology can leverage a growing scale and variety of information, that in turn leads to us being able to identify and react to threats before they occur.

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Adrian Gregory, Global Head of Financial Services & Insurance and Global Head of Atos|Syntel