IT security from an enterprise perspective: building and securing financial ecosystems

Andrew J Zeller, Managing Director International and Co-CEO DACH, together with Patrick Abrudean as Co-Author,  adorsysAndrew J Zeller, Managing Director International and Co-CEO DACH, together with Patrick Abrudean as Co-Author, adorsys
Do you have the necessary information security policies in place to deal with both regulatory requirements and possible real-world threats? Who is accessing your data, and should they really have the right to do so? Do systems really reflect what was stipulated in your policies, or would there be any blind spots? And yet another questions, do all your business continuity plans really work when push comes to shove?

The past couple of years have seen a dramatic increase in cyberattacks and related issues around IT security. As a direct consequence, demand for IT security has skyrocketed. Rapid changes in technologies, organizational requirements, user expectations, attack vectors, regulatory risks, as well as the on-going shift to remote work, require a more flexible and in-depth architecture and are driving the transformation of IT-Security in the enterprise. Organizations must therefore meet the needs of numerous and different applications while ensuring adequate IT security, such as by reducing the risk of data breaches and attacks on IT systems and applying security controls to their entire operations.

IT security is top priority for management

According to Gartner, global spending on IT security management and services grew at a compound annual growth rate of 12.2% in 2021 compared to 2020, with an estimated spend of approximately $150.4 billion in 2021 (Gartner, 2021). In fact, cybersecurity is the top priority for new spending, according to Gartner's 2021 CIO Agenda survey. More than 2,000 CIOs surveyed, for example, 61% increased their cyber/information security investments in 2021.

In particular, companies operating in the financial services sector are a prime target for cyberattacks. Banking is highly digitized, and for cyber criminals, attacks on banks provide numerous opportunities to profit through extortion, theft, and fraud. In addition, with the increase in cashless transactions, more financial transactions are being conducted digitally than ever before. Banks need to continuously innovate their processes and security standards to keep up with the changing customer and technological needs. Considering this, inadequate and poorly designed IT security - ranging from IT infrastructure all the way to strategic business and IT alignment - can put customers in the financial sector at great risk.

adorsys’ Managed Security Services creating security value

At adorsys, we offer a wide range of innovative IT security solutions and services to banks and other financial institutions or third-party vendors. adorsys' Managed Security Solutions and Services (AMS) - backed by the extensive financial and security expertise of our executives and team members - are designed to help customers improve security standards and enhance customer experience to make financial services more secure.
To comprehensively address information security challenges, adorsys devised four distinct service blocks.

1. The first and foundational block consists of a one-off or (as recommended) regular assessment and inspection of the state of information security at the client company. Based on the proven information security framework of adorsys, the check will gauge the current maturity of the security plans, management, and systems. Any gaps will be identified and the resulting roadmap to remedy these gaps provided, discussed, and decided upon. In addition, the scope of the current security management approach will be reviewed. Furthermore, nothing can be deemed to secure, if not tested. Regular vulnerability scanning and penetration testing must be conducted to uncover possible hidden risks. All this needs to be done from an attacker’s point of view to assure the real-life applicability of the threat assessment and response activities.

2. At the heart of any secure environment will be a solid security architecture. It is here where you would find the relevant structures to secure applications, networks, databases, etc. This architecture needs to be resilient to any external and internal adverse events and, of course, observe business continuity principles. In terms of data security, the classic idea of CIA (confidentiality, integrity, and availability) must be adhered to. An effective security architecture results in fewer security breaches, mitigates disciplinary action in the event of a breach, and ultimately enables cost savings.

adorsys offer a wide range of innovative IT security solutions and services to banks, financial institutions, or third-party vendors

3. As the overall threat level to Information Technology will not fall back to ‘low’ any time soon, detection teams and systems need to scan for potential threats and breaches on a continuous basis. This is achieved by a set of intelligent tool and deployed agent components that connect to security management systems and report on any unplanned, unrecognized, unauthorized, or deviant activities. Based on this, it is possible for the company to carry out investigations and subsequently initiate a selection of suitable countermeasures and response actions. Where possible, these activities should be automated to the highest possible degree.

4. At the same time, comprehensive (internal) security awareness and training programs ensure the establishment of a security culture that employees understand and buy in to. After all, a well-understood and accepted security culture may be a company’s best layer of protection against malicious attackers.

With this comprehensive suite of services, we create and improve security for our customers on multiple levels. All these described blocks can be either ordered separately, or for companies requiring ongoing support and management of their security challenges, wrapped into an ‘as-a-service’ solution that covers all these aspects based on a subscription. This is especially relevant for SMEs who oftentimes lack the capacity or talent to manage IT security on their own. At the same time, cyber criminals are increasingly targeting small businesses, who often don’t have the proper protections in place to thwart fraud or get reimbursed for damages. Our powerful security solutions enable us to ensure enterprise-wide data security through standardized best-practice processes with minimal complexity and low operational costs. In addition, we increase user productivity in different work environments without compromising security and ensure efficient and auditable processes so that company-specific and external compliance guidelines are always adhered to. Beyond that, we provide our customers with end-to-end support in aligning business and IT with cyber security priorities, which in turn will lead to improved trust and loyalty.
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