4 min read  | Financial cybersecurity

How CISOs are leading the way in financial cybersecurity strategies

A recent report by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute showed that the cost of a cyberattack in the finance industry is $18.3 million. This is how much it would cost, per company, if an attack was to occur in just the banking sector.

Today, we operate in a precarious security environment. In looking for modern solutions to ever-evolving challenges, some are more responsible than others. CISOs, in particular, need to evolve and go beyond their traditional duties to keep their teams and operations safe.

So what does this look like in the finance industry? 

The truth is that cybercriminals will always target the finance industry because that’s where the money is. It is a fact we may not be able to change. What we can change, however, is how we approach financial cybersecurity. 

Beyond just ensuring compliance and responding to cyber threats, today, CISOs need to take on a more active and strategic role. Here’s how they support financial cybersecurity in the current industry landscape.

The duties and responsibilities of a CISO are evolving

For some time now, CISOs have limited their focus to preventing cyberattacks and ensuring compliance. To support a robust defensive system, however, security leaders need to expand their scope beyond just reducing risks. 

The reality is that financial organisations are constantly expanding their focus, exploring new opportunities, and working with new partners. While promising, these efforts come with their own set of risks.

Going forward, CISOs will need to look beyond limiting risks to anticipating and addressing newer ones. This is especially true when it comes to advising and strategising functions. Today, they’re also expected to engage the board of directors more meaningfully to secure high-level buy-in.

Ultimately, they’re required to wear multiple hats. They’re strategists, technologists, guardians, and advisors.

They’re implementing multiple lines of defence in financial organisations

While multi-layered security strategies aren’t new, CISOs in financial organisations will refocus their efforts here. This includes working with various branches and offices located in other parts of the country or the world. 

In making security an inclusive goal, leaders will need to make sure these efforts support core objectives. At the end of the day, it ensures greater accountability. It also means that subsidiary bodies are as well-protected as the primary financial organisation. 

CISOs are creating flexible, risk-based security programmes to meet new risks

According to Gartner, 95% of CISOs expect security threats to become worse. To meet the unique threats to financial cybersecurity, speed and agility are important. They’re now developing processes that enable risk-based decisions, which protect financial institutions.

These programmes help CISOs address a gamut of security risks, threats, vulnerabilities, and breaches with greater responsiveness. For most financial institutions, rethinking financial cybersecurity strategies is required to achieve this. It involves prioritising flexibility to avoid traditional limitations to incident response. 

They’re creating powerful—and more inclusive—cybersecurity cultures

While it’s still too early to tell if CISOs in the financial sector have succeeded, here, building a more cyber-aware culture is an ongoing goal.

To begin with, financial cybersecurity awareness needs to be built from the ground up. It includes everything from making better decisions to being more prepared for cyberattacks. Security awareness training is also a major element in this process. 

CISOs will also need to work with various teams to ensure that financial cybersecurity is a part of company growth plans and goals. Traditionally, this is more of an afterthought. Going forward, security controls and policies will be designed into the heart of these objectives. 

In light of increasing information security risks, a cyber-aware culture can reduce the threats to end customers. It can also save financial organisations from reputational risks, which can be a deal-breaker if not managed well. 

Transform how you take charge of financial cybersecurity with end-to-end security support

CISOs are sentinels between finance institutions and the world outside. If they’re not adapting to the security landscape, your financial cybersecurity strategy can leave you vulnerable.

This responsibility is not an easy one. That is why supporting them is important. Penetration testing or our very own DefenceShield, a Security Operations Centre, for instance, can be useful.

At Triskele Labs, we work with CISOs in every industry. Get in touch with us to explore how we can empower you with custom security programmes.