Securing Banking Transactions

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Securing Banking Transactions

Arindam Mukherjee, Head - Banking & Financial Services Sales, Cisco India & SAARC

The article was published in Banking Frontiers

Today’s retail banking customers are technology savvy, using social and mobile platforms excessively to exchange information both personal as well as professional, and demand an ‘always connect’ mode across their device of choice. Not only are the customers increasingly tech savvy… so is the workforce within the banking sector. The next generation bank employees expect their workplace to be mobile. Whether enabling work to be done on a “bring your own device” (BYOD) smartphone or tablet, accessing their virtualized desktop across various endpoints, or empowering a subject matter expert to service banking customers wherever they may be physically located, employees demand workplace flexibility.

Given the above, security is the prime concern for most banks since consumers and employees can come from anywhere using any digital medium and exchange information often critical, across varied media. This means the area of exposure to security risks is by far higher. As prime targets for criminals, retail banks have always faced major inherent security challenges. But today, when banks are pressed to increase revenues, improve operational efficiency, and mitigate risk, defending against security threats is increasingly expensive.

The primary culprit is a reliance on traditional surveillance and access control systems that are segregated, proprietary, and extremely costly to operate. The need for banks is to therefore create a fully secured environment which should not only prevent a breach or attack, but in case of one, be resilient enough to stop the proliferation further.

Security challenges
While most banks tend to look into the various aspects of information security, more often than not, there is reliance on traditional technology systems that are segregated, proprietary, and cumbersome to operate, especially when it comes to physical safety and security.

Typically Banking & Financial institutions are much lesser exposed to the new age Physical Security Solutions compared to other vertical like Homeland Security, Transportation Security, Corporate Security and so on. The use of legacy systems implies tackling silos of information and security monitoring across multiple technologies resulting in inefficient operations and resultant increase in security and business risks. It also means there is a lack of central control & monitoring and an intelligent incident based response solution resulting in an inherent difficulty in collaboration between various security stakeholders. Conventional bank security systems are slow, siloed and expensive and therefore an essential but constantly growing business cost.

However by linking security solutions like video surveillance, access control, incident response, and other security technologies into a single, intelligent system across the network, it is possible for banks to manage physical security so that it can actually reduce costs, improve employee productivity, and rationalize resources across dispersed branch locations, all while improving the effectiveness of incident detection and response.

Integrated Network Security Systems
Using integrated solutions across the network that include those for intrusion prevention, network analysis tools, firewalls, and web and email security appliances, it is possible for banks to cater to the various security needs and also offer better banking experience for their customers. Integrated security solutions help banks to:

  • Mitigate Risk
    • Because they help the security personnel gain single view into security environment
    • Respond more quickly and accurately to incidents
    • Track individuals across camera views
  • Enforce Compliance
    • Because these solutions universally conform to policies and procedures
    • Raise awareness to expectations, policies and procedures
    • Quickly and easily report on compliance activities
  • Lower Costs
    • By eliminating rip ‘n replace
    • Reducing false/nuisance alarms
    • Reducing training time and costs
    • Avoiding legal costs

In essence therefore a comprehensive security solution that uses the IP network helps banking personnel gain rapid access to relevant information across all security systems and the ability to make faster, better decisions. All of this translate to better customer experience and higher ROI in the long run.

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